Gloria Grandolini  

Symbiosis #1 Test by Gloria Grandolini

September 2023 - Symbiosis #1 Test

About the Image(s)

I finally had the time and camera to test focus bracketing. I did this first attempt on an oyster shell I found walking on the beach. I was fascinated by the number of clam and other shells that were attached o the oyster. I saw it as beautiful example of symbiosis in nature.

I used the Canon R5 focus bracketing option and I shot 35 images. I then processed them in Helicon with method B. The combined shot is definitely sharper than the Individual ones I took. However, I still feel it could be better. Also I noticed some halos around the borders.

Any tips and suggestions welcome - on which method is best and also trade-offs of using a larger number of images for the processing.

Shot with Canon R5
100 mmm with Canon lens RF 100 mm f/2.8 L Macro IS USM
ISO 100 using Tripod
35 images processed in Helicon - starting point 1/125 sec at f/6.3

6 comments posted

Stuart Ord   Stuart Ord
As a photo put up for critique, I'd comment on some white areas being burned out, the background beyond the table top being unattractive, etc. But that's not what you were doing here, you were trying focus bracketting and stacking. Good, well done!

I presume you had your camera on a sturdy tripod. Did you use a focus rail to move the camera, or an inbuilt focus bracket setting in the camera? Either is fine. The question is, why do you have some halos? I'm not sure, it might be the software setting or camera movement. I suspect the former. I would go back to the bracket of photos. 35 is quite a lot, at f6.3 and this distance I'd have thought 10 would be enough if properly spaced. However, it takes much longer to work it out from theory than to take several brackets with different settings (ie step length and number of shots) and see which works best. I would also look at the "closest" and "furthest" shots in your bracket. If any are not sharp in the area you want to come out sharp, them discard them.

As you have Helicon Focus, do try Helicon Remote if you can. It's amazingly simple. You move the camera to the closest and furthest points you want in focus, and it works out the step length and how many shots. If you have a motorised rail, it then takes them all for you and sends the results directly to Helicon Focus.

Another thing to try with this set of shots is to try the other rendering methods in Helicon, and fiddle with the radius and smoothing parameters. This might get rid of your halos.   Posted: 09/07/2023 14:54:57
Gloria Grandolini   Gloria Grandolini
Thank you so do much Stuart very useful. The good news is I brought back with me the shell so I can do the test shots you suggest. For this one I had used the in built camera focus bracketing settings. I will order a focus rail and will redo photo using Helicon remote as you suggest.   Posted: 09/08/2023 13:27:35

Carol Sheppard   Carol Sheppard
Yes, I do see the halo. Still, a good first attempt! I wish I could be more help, but I still work on the bracketing myself. Stuart is right, though, that we would need more info to figure out what went wrong.   Posted: 09/07/2023 17:32:47
Gloria Grandolini   Gloria Grandolini
Thanks Carol   Posted: 09/08/2023 13:28:00

Keith Au   Keith Au
Hi Gloria, good first attempt on focus bracketing.. It will be nice to compare the outcome with focus rail. But the in-camera focus bracketing is so handy.. I found that it's not easy to achieve constant focus steps with my focus rail's manual knob.   Posted: 09/09/2023 21:38:50
Gloria Grandolini   Gloria Grandolini
Thanks Keith - will try that.   Posted: 09/16/2023 15:06:23


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