Kym Houston  


Stacked macro by Kym Houston

November 2021 - Stacked macro

About the Image(s)

Image is a stacked macro image taken with 100mm lens natural light and canon 5D MK IV editing is with exposure app added in an aged black and white texture.


This round’s discussion is now closed!
18 comments posted




Wes Odell   Wes Odell
This really looks like a tricky shot: combining a magnifying glass image with (I assume) a focus stacking approach. I'm at a loss as to how you could have gotten all of the seeds that are in the magnifying glass as sharp as what they're attached to . Nice idea. Good BW treatment.   Posted: 11/06/2021 19:00:08
Kym Houston
Thank you Wes, I was just experimenting with stacking as I had never done before. The looking glass is a magnified glass and I just checked originals and it was only a 3 stack and hand held. I have learnt more since then :) I am actually reflected in the glass hence me using a filter to grunge/blur the glass a bit.
  Posted: 11/06/2021 19:23:17
Wes Odell   Wes Odell
It's good to know that.
Next time do a stack with 10 or 30 images. The software can handle many more than that. And of course, a tripod. A remote shutter release is a big assist and inexpensive.
I use Helicon Focus. It's an oldie, but when I purchased it, it had a top rating. Still good and super easy to use once you get the hang of it and find out how simple it is. Problem with software programs is that many of us think they're all so complicated just because SOME are.
Focus Stacking is a breakthrough technique and it works on vast landscapes as well as macro.   Posted: 11/06/2021 19:35:29
Kym Houston
Thank you Wes :)   Posted: 11/26/2021 16:47:15



Tom McCreary   Tom McCreary
Very interesting idea to tell a story of the magnifying glass enlarging the center of the seed pods. And I like that you have some other seeds on both sides of the magnifying glass. I agree with Wes that you need some more images in your stack to give more depth of field.   Posted: 11/07/2021 15:28:05
Kym Houston
Thank you Tom :)   Posted: 11/07/2021 16:25:16



Stephen Levitas   Stephen Levitas
I have not tried my hand at stacking, but this looks very good, and I understand and agree with the comments so far. Compositionally, I might suggest including the handle of the magnifying glass to make it more apparent what is going on.
In response to Wes's surprise about getting this shot using a magnifying glass--an image is just an image, whether viewed directly or viewed or through a magnifying glass, so I think it makes sense optically that this works.   Posted: 11/08/2021 16:43:57
Kym Houston
Thank you Stephen, the looking glass doesn't have a handle it is just a small glass piece like the ones they wore on chains.I had to hang it with fishing line and there really isn't much to the top it that could be included that would have looked right. I do like the handle idea though for a future shoot, I just need to find an old magnifying glass with a nice wooden handle.   Posted: 11/09/2021 18:49:57



Diana Magor   Diana Magor
What a clever idea! I shall have to copy this idea for future pictures if you don't object.
I agree that using more images would make it even better. I use stacking a lot with my macro shots -and use a tripod. The only problem is making sure the subject is included within the reduced frame size. My Olympus allows focus stacking in camera so doesn't need Helicon focus any more, which I used to use.   Posted: 11/25/2021 06:03:18
Kym Houston
Thank you Diana I have had a few more goes at stacking recently and have had better results.   Posted: 11/26/2021 16:46:19



Lynne Hollingsworth   Lynne Hollingsworth
This is a unique idea and you've done it well. A tripod is always helpful for photo stacking. Only 2 or three more shots would have helped bring a little more focus to the front flower pods (?). No handle for the magnifying glass doesn't bother me at all. I think you've made a really nice image.   Posted: 11/26/2021 07:18:47
Kym Houston
Thank you Lynne   Posted: 11/26/2021 16:46:39



Jennifer Doerrie   Jennifer Doerrie
I haven't tried focus stacking, so I'm not certain what to suggest in that regard. I do like the seeds that you've included on the right side as a comparison/contrast to those that have been magnified. It doesn't sound like there is any easy way you could have angled the magnifying glass, and that might have resulted in distortion issues. However, there does seem to be a lot of dark space in this particular image, so I'm wondering how to increase the amount of the subject in the frame. Would it be too busy if you added more flower pods?   Posted: 11/28/2021 23:07:55
Kym Houston
Thank you Jennifer I think adding more of the fluffies would work too. Also a texture over the black to bring in the wood sepia color might give it a different look as well. You should have a try at stacking and just have fun with it. I have done a lot more since this one and it just takes time to learn and keep learning.   Posted: 11/30/2021 17:28:10



Diana Magor   Diana Magor
I think there are endless opportunities for tweaking this image- adding more seeds artfully arranged, or removing them from the stalk: angling the magnifier, increasing the depth of the stacking: using a different angle of illumination: darkening the background even more. I can really see all sorts of possible changes but again I want to emphasise what a good idea it is!   Posted: 11/29/2021 04:19:18
Wes Odell   Wes Odell
agree.   Posted: 11/29/2021 07:17:27
Kym Houston
Thank you Diana and Wes :)   Posted: 11/30/2021 17:25:52