HOLY MACRO -Q & A. help & advice thread

GOLDENORFEGOLDENORFE Super ModeratorPosts: 4,589Super Moderators moderator
edited November 9, 2014 in Holy Macro
Hi everyone, as you may know Maxine has stepped down as moderator, she has done a wonderfull job :clap since she started this group.

my name is Phil and hope to keep everything running smoothly:D

I would first of all like to thank everyone for posting here .

Ask all Questions here and we will try and answer for you

BUG IDENTIFICATION THREAD - http://www.digitalgrin.com/showthread.php?t=147282


Phil

http://www.flickr.com/photos/goldenorfe/
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Comments

  • DonRicklinDonRicklin Polysemaniac! Worcester, MA, USAPosts: 5,551Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 9, 2009
    GOLDENORFE wrote:
    Hi everyone, as you may know Maxine has stepped down as moderator, she has done a wonderfull job clap.gif since she started this group.

    my name is Phil and hope to keep everything running smoothly:D

    I would first of all like to thank everyone for posting here .

    Ask all Questions here and we will try and answer for you

    Phil

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/goldenorfe/
    Congratulations! thumb.gif

    Well deserved!

    I hope to start posting more here, soon!

    :D

    Don
    Don Ricklin - Gear: Canon EOS 5D Mark III, was Pentax K7
    'I was older then, I'm younger than that now' ....
    My Blog | Q+ | Moderator, Lightroom Forums | My Amateur Smugmug Stuff | My Blurb book Rust and Whimsy. More Rust , FaceBook .
  • Lord VetinariLord Vetinari Smugbug Posts: 14,922Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 15, 2009
    Macro PP workflow
    My Macro PP workflow.RAW conversion with DPP - adjust exposure and sometimes curves. Minimal sharpen (level3) and no de-noise. Adjust colour temperature of flash shots to 5600'C.
    If focus stacking. I do this directly after conversion with either combinez5 or more frequently either zerene stacker or by hand in Photoshop.
    Photoshop PP
    De-noise with noisewarepro at lowest setting. Levels correction if needed. Sharpen with USM at 200,1,1 but fade as appropriate (normally to 50%), sensor spot removal using repair brush. Save Master jpg at quality 12.
    Size reduction for web use- reduce image to 180 DPI 9cm short side. Sharpen with USM at 200,1,1 but fade to 30%. save as web image at quality 10

    Brian V.
  • JonPJonP Beginner grinner Posts: 4Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited October 1, 2009
    stacking
    After looking at Brian's (amongst other) wonderful stacks can I just ask how do you go about taking multiple images of something like the "Orbweb gets bee" when the spider will be concentrating on lunch, not striking a pose?
  • GOLDENORFEGOLDENORFE Super Moderator Posts: 4,589Super Moderators moderator
    edited October 1, 2009
    i should let brian answer this,
    but if your flash & diffuser is working efficently, it re-charges quick enough to shoot 2-4 frames very quickly,before the bugs move too much
    [there will be a certain amount of movement between each frame but software can usually compensate for this].
    moving the camera forward a little for each frame. first frame focused on the nearest part of subject, then just move very slightly towards the subject pressing shutter as you move forward. does take a bit of practise.
    brian uses a bean pole to brace camera and just rocks forward/backward to focus on subject. same as using a monopod.
    phil
  • Lord VetinariLord Vetinari Smugbug Posts: 14,922Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 1, 2009
    MUch as Phil says, but in this case there was too much movement of both the subject and wind movement- they were hanging by a single multiple thread beneath the web. This meant any thought of software stacking was out the window and I had to stack them by hand in photoshop.
    Brian v.
  • DeeCajunDeeCajun Masochistic Grins Posts: 515Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 20, 2010
    GOLDENORFE wrote:
    Hi everyone, as you may know Maxine has stepped down as moderator, she has done a wonderfull job clap.gif since she started this group.

    my name is Phil and hope to keep everything running smoothly:D

    I would first of all like to thank everyone for posting here .

    Ask all Questions here and we will try and answer for you

    Phil

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/goldenorfe/


    Hi and thank you.. I am very new here and love the place so far.. lots of great talent.

    I am drawn to landscapes and recently ventured into Macro, I have a 2.8 Canon 100mm lens, and have been practicing. It is QUITE different than shooting the mountains !... I am struggling with getting more in focus in the frame. The focused area is very small and I can't seem to figure out how to make what is focused fill up more of the view. Even when I increase DOF the focused area is very small.

    Any suggetsions?
  • GOLDENORFEGOLDENORFE Super Moderator Posts: 4,589Super Moderators moderator
    edited January 20, 2010
    DeeCajun wrote:
    I am struggling with getting more in focus in the frame. The focused area is very small and I can't seem to figure out how to make what is focused fill up more of the view. Even when I increase DOF the focused area is very small.

    Any suggetsions?

    hi there welcome to the forum.

    you willl never get a large amount "in focus" at the higher magnifications compared to using wideangle lenses.

    really depends on what you are shooting. just make sure a dominant area in the frame is in focus. doesnt have to be very large area.
    for insects always focus on the "eyes" or head depending on size in frame, that is the main focal point.
    flowers can focus on stamens in centre or a leadind edge of a petal.
    stick to f7-f14 for sharpest images.
    just keep shooting and posting.
    phil
  • DeeCajunDeeCajun Masochistic Grins Posts: 515Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 20, 2010
    GOLDENORFE wrote:
    hi there welcome to the forum.

    you willl never get a large amount "in focus" at the higher magnifications compared to using wideangle lenses.

    really depends on what you are shooting. just make sure a dominant area in the frame is in focus. doesnt have to be very large area.
    for insects always focus on the "eyes" or head depending on size in frame, that is the main focal point.
    flowers can focus on stamens in centre or a leadind edge of a petal.
    stick to f7-f14 for sharpest images.
    just keep shooting and posting.
    phil

    Thank you so much for your reply.. I took this practice shot yesterday, this leaf is about 2x3 inches real size.
    I would have liked the whole leaf to be in focus and not sure if this is possible?

    _MG_5707-1.jpg
  • GOLDENORFEGOLDENORFE Super Moderator Posts: 4,589Super Moderators moderator
    edited January 20, 2010
    only if the leaf was completly flat on the focus plane.
    very shallow dof can help your main subject stand out from an oof background.
  • DeeCajunDeeCajun Masochistic Grins Posts: 515Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 20, 2010
    GOLDENORFE wrote:
    only if the leaf was completly flat on the focus plane.
    very shallow dof can help your main subject stand out from an oof background.

    makes sense, I've tried widening the focused area at a close range and not succeeding.. Macro sure is a whole different ball game from landscapes!
  • ole docole doc Big grins Posts: 70Registered Users Big grins
    edited January 21, 2010
    Perhaps I'm making this too hard. I want to get into trying stacking of close up and macro work. I read Brian V.'s PP workflow above but, to be honest, I didn't understand all of it.
    It seems to me one would want to do the least manipulation before RAW conversion so that all images are equally changed and that efforts to do the same alterations to each image is important.
    As a beginner, might I be better starting directly in jpeg or is the RAW conversion less a problem than I'm making it.
    thanks
    Nick
  • GOLDENORFEGOLDENORFE Super Moderator Posts: 4,589Super Moderators moderator
    edited January 21, 2010
    hi Nick.
    it is easier to alter the raw images first, especially if exposure is not right.
    i use lightroom for raw conversions, i adjust a middle frame of the intended stack to look right, mainly white ballance,clarity and recovery sliders. then copy the adjustments and synq all the others so they are all identical before converting and exporting .
    you could just convert all raws as shot or use jpgs if initial exposures are ok, quicker if only using for practise.
    phil
  • ole docole doc Big grins Posts: 70Registered Users Big grins
    edited January 21, 2010
    thanks Phil. I use Photoshop Elements 7. I'm not facile enough with it to know if it has the ability to copy changes from one image to another. I'll look into that. I guess I can try to carefully note the changes I make and repeat them.
    Nick
  • JaynusJaynus Big grins Posts: 36Registered Users Big grins
    edited May 5, 2010
    Very informative thread so far. Thank you so much for sharing your workflow Brian, I shall put that into practice straight-away. :)

    I have a really dumb question to ask and I guess this is the right place to ask it. I love macro, (mainly bugs and the like) and I think other than taking pics of my 18 month old daughter, macro is really all I do. However, I want to get a lot closer than my 90mm allows so am going to buy some extension tubes.

    I've read that with the manual ones you have to shoot wide open, is that correct? So I'd have to stack my images if I went down that route. I've also read that AF extension tubes allow you to shoot at whatever f stop you want. Is that also correct?

    Thanks in advance for any info on this. :)
    I'm a Nikon girl. :D
  • Lord VetinariLord Vetinari Smugbug Posts: 14,922Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 8, 2010
    Jaynus wrote: »
    Very informative thread so far. Thank you so much for sharing your workflow Brian, I shall put that into practice straight-away. :)

    I have a really dumb question to ask and I guess this is the right place to ask it. I love macro, (mainly bugs and the like) and I think other than taking pics of my 18 month old daughter, macro is really all I do. However, I want to get a lot closer than my 90mm allows so am going to buy some extension tubes.

    I've read that with the manual ones you have to shoot wide open, is that correct? So I'd have to stack my images if I went down that route. I've also read that AF extension tubes allow you to shoot at whatever f stop you want. Is that also correct?

    Thanks in advance for any info on this. :)

    You are correct that manual extension tubes do not allow direct electronic aperture control. However you can stop down some AF lenses beforehand.
    eg with canon cameras you can mount the lens normally, set an aperture in Av mode press and hold down the DOF preview button (next to the lens release) whilst removing the lens. This will then maintain that aperture until it is next attached to the camera normally. It does make for a dim viewfinder though.
    You could also think about just using older manual lenses around 50mm (doesn't matter what brand) and use it with a body reversing ring - you just need to match the lenses filter size.
    Brian v.
  • JaynusJaynus Big grins Posts: 36Registered Users Big grins
    edited May 8, 2010
    Thanks Brian. That's really helpful. Much appreciated. Be on the lookout for my magnificent macro shots..........ha!!! rolleyes1.gif
    I'm a Nikon girl. :D
  • paddler4paddler4 Major grins Posts: 975Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 15, 2010
    stacking with photoshop
    Brian and some others sometimes stack manually in photoshop. What are the advantages of that over Zerene, which is what I am using?

    Thanks

    Dan
  • Lord VetinariLord Vetinari Smugbug Posts: 14,922Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 16, 2010
    paddler4 wrote: »
    Brian and some others sometimes stack manually in photoshop. What are the advantages of that over Zerene, which is what I am using?

    Thanks

    Dan

    Dan I normally only stack shots manually when I know there has been some subject movement eg an antennnae or leg moving. In that case i just find it faster to stack by hand rather than tryying to repair a software stack. The other time I do it is when i want to use what I call differential focus stacking. This is where I only want to stack part of the subject and not the whole picture so for example i can get a lot of the main subject in focus but not have interfering background elements in focus.

    The main point is that there is no stacking software about that can make the decisions a human can over the best way to stack an image series.

    Brian v.
  • paddler4paddler4 Major grins Posts: 975Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 16, 2010
    Brian,

    Thanks. Very helpful, as always. Learning to stack in PS is next on my list.

    Dan
  • GOLDENORFEGOLDENORFE Super Moderator Posts: 4,589Super Moderators moderator
    edited May 18, 2010
    i agree with Brian, sometimes zerene just cant align every frame, you can easily and quickly merge 3-4 frames with layer masks in photoshop, using masks to cover the oof parts, or by using lassoo tool to select a small sharp area on one frame and move it onto a new layer into another frame where every thing else is in focus.
    [especially usefull to add sharp eye detail to another good shot that lacks eye focus]
    phil
  • IlliteratiIlliterati Expert Procrastinator Posts: 36Registered Users Big grins
    edited May 18, 2010
    How is the Nikon 18mm - 55mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX VR for macros? I'm using a Nikon D90 to feed my photography addiction.
    Illiterati
    **If a picture is worth a 1000 words...**
    Nikon D90
    Illiterati Photography
  • Lord VetinariLord Vetinari Smugbug Posts: 14,922Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 19, 2010
    Illiterati wrote: »
    How is the Nikon 18mm - 55mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX VR for macros? I'm using a Nikon D90 to feed my photography addiction.
    You can get close ups with a kit lens like this but nowhere near a true macro shot. You can actually use a body reversing coupler with them and get macro shots.
    Brian v.
  • basfltbasflt Major grins Posts: 1,882Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 20, 2010
    nikon compability
    i need some advice [ or tips or whatever ]

    i was thinking to buy an SB R1 flash unit for a D60
    they say it works with TTL , which the D60 has
    but other sites say its not compatible , it needs a SB800 commander unit too [ read ; another €300,- euro extra ]

    now , what is it ????
    or , ... dont buy at all ????
    thanks in advance


    bek035.gif
  • Lord VetinariLord Vetinari Smugbug Posts: 14,922Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 20, 2010
    basflt wrote: »
    i need some advice [ or tips or whatever ]

    i was thinking to buy an SB R1 flash unit for a D60
    they say it works with TTL , which the D60 has
    but other sites say its not compatible , it needs a SB800 commander unit too [ read ; another €300,- euro extra ]

    now , what is it ????
    or , ... dont buy at all ????
    thanks in advance


    bek035.gif

    From this page http://support.nikontech.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/886/~/d-slr-and-nikon-speedlight-compatibility seems like it has to be triggered with the built in flash unless you use a commander module.
    Brian v.
  • basfltbasflt Major grins Posts: 1,882Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 20, 2010
    From this page http://support.nikontech.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/886/~/d-slr-and-nikon-speedlight-compatibility seems like it has to be triggered with the built in flash unless you use a commander module.
    Brian v.

    i have seen this page ; confusing
    my camera has TTL , but not I-TTL
    can i just slide it onto the flash-bracket ,and use TTL-function ?
    as a beginner i dont feel much about adjusting each flash manually
    in that case , i would prefereGOLDENORFE 'S suggestion , about a handheld flash
    http://www.dgrin.com/showpost.php?p=1208827&postcount=2
    [ i did read this forum ]

    edit
    i found my answer ;
    this unit is triggered wireless , with infrared
    that means i will need the extra commander unit
  • me_minihahame_minihaha Big grins Posts: 62Registered Users Big grins
    edited May 23, 2010
    GOLDENORFE wrote: »
    hi there welcome to the forum.

    you willl never get a large amount "in focus" at the higher magnifications compared to using wideangle lenses.

    really depends on what you are shooting. just make sure a dominant area in the frame is in focus. doesnt have to be very large area.
    for insects always focus on the "eyes" or head depending on size in frame, that is the main focal point.
    flowers can focus on stamens in centre or a leadind edge of a petal.
    stick to f7-f14 for sharpest images.
    just keep shooting and posting.
    phil


    THANK YOU!!! I have been having the same struggles and have wanted to pull my hair out I am soooooo thankful and I know the old saying "practice makes perfect" but my eyes are starting to bleed from taking so many shots to try n get it right haha
    Victoria
    "It's awesome to be ALIVE!"
  • paddler4paddler4 Major grins Posts: 975Registered Users Major grins
    edited June 1, 2010
    Flash in burst mode
    Phil--

    You have written that you can get several flash shots in burst mode. I can't with my batteries (Sanyo Eneloops) and flash (Canon 430EXII). What batteries and flash let you do this?

    thanks

    Dan
  • GOLDENORFEGOLDENORFE Super Moderator Posts: 4,589Super Moderators moderator
    edited June 3, 2010
    paddler4 wrote: »
    Phil--

    You have written that you can get several flash shots in burst mode. I can't with my batteries (Sanyo Eneloops) and flash (Canon 430EXII). What batteries and flash let you do this?

    thanks

    Dan


    i am using ansmann nimh 2850 batteries with their fan cooled charger .
    same flash 430 ex.
    it depends on how effecient your diffuser is, if it blocks too much light the flash output time increases & therefore reduces number of flash s before recycle time blanks out a frame.
    i can get 5 frames easily at iso 100 with fresh batteries. more at iso 200-400
    i need to get 2 more sets as they are slowing down a bit now, dont know how many re charges they will take before life shortens.
    phil
  • paddler4paddler4 Major grins Posts: 975Registered Users Major grins
    edited June 3, 2010
    Phil,

    Thanks very much

    Dan
  • basfltbasflt Major grins Posts: 1,882Registered Users Major grins
    edited June 6, 2010
    advice on haircut
    what can i do about these weird reflections on the hairs ,
    other then editing ?
    ne_nau.gif

    DSC_8394_cr.jpg
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