Bob Benson, FPSA, EPSA  

Inside a Tulip by Bob Benson, FPSA, EPSA

May 2022 - Inside a Tulip

About the Image(s)

My wife likes flowers, and this one came from one of her pots. It was past prime, which meant I could easily get inside for a better closeup. Using window light, I used focus stacking at f13 from 6 original images in Helicon Focus. My camera has built in focus stacking, but I found out the hard way that it will not work for slow shutter speeds, which was this case, and would result in underexposed images. But picking the points and using the touch screen to refocus is almost as easy. I then used LR to edit whites, blacks, and add texture, contrast, and local brightening in the stamen area after cropping. What originally drew me to the image was the unique colors inside and the “waves” of the pedals.

7 comments posted

Jose Cartas   Jose Cartas
It is very artistic, precisely because of the "waves" of the petals you captured. Very sharp thanks to the focus stacking. Beautiful colors. Perfect composition with the stems on a power point. I don't have anything to add.   Posted: 05/09/2022 18:59:19

Mervyn Hurwitz   Mervyn Hurwitz
You have done an excellent job on this tulip. The focus stacking has provided a perfectly sharp image throughout.
Your composition is also great with the petals providing the backdrop for the stamens.
For focus stacking I presume you use a tripod. Do you need a device to change the focus for each frame?   Posted: 05/13/2022 10:16:26

Anges van der Logt   Anges van der Logt
Nothing to add to the previous comments. A beautiful and sharp image! Well done!   Posted: 05/14/2022 22:05:30

Tony Au Yeong   Tony Au Yeong
The color, composition and texture are great, and the focus stacking completes the job. A lovely image!   Posted: 05/20/2022 11:16:49

Andy Patterson   Andy Patterson
Wonderful colors and composition, and I agree about the "waves," Bob. I like that you did not center the flower as is common for these close shots. Focus stacking worked very well--I have to play with that more (I have used it a but not a lot). Clearly it is very useful for this sort of shot. I wonder why using the camera's focus stacking function resulted in wrong exposures?

My only suggestion for improvement is that green spot to the right--it drew my eye away from the main focus a bit. It does not ruin the image by any stretch, but I think just changing its color to something that blends more with the rest of the image would not draw attention away from where you want the viewer to go. There is none of that green anywhere in the subject. I don't suggest matching the colors, as that would probably look unnatural, but something that is just less contrasting. I got a similar comment on one of my flower images in another group (not PSA) :-).   Posted: 05/21/2022 13:33:58
Bob Benson   Bob Benson
The green spot is just the background and is not part of the flower, but I can darken it towards black.
The reason auto focus stacking would not work is the software in the camera probably has a time limit for exposure to exposure when refocusing, and these were long at f13 using window light. So it cut the exposure time to meet the limit, and I had to do the focus points manually.   Posted: 05/22/2022 04:06:33
Andy Patterson   Andy Patterson
Interesting, I will have to experiment with mine (Canon R5) to see if it has a similar issue. Yes, I did realize the green was in the background, just mentioning that it drew my eye away a bit. Again, though, great shot!   Posted: 05/22/2022 13:51:15


Please log in to post a comment