High Mag Focus Stack Butterfly head Tutorial

GOLDENORFEGOLDENORFE Super ModeratorPosts: 4,620Super Moderators moderator
edited November 17, 2013 in Holy Macro
a series of shots showing how i shoot a high magnification butterfly head focus stack.
all 5 frames of stack are shown which have been converted from raw files and just resized for web.
stacking was performed by zerene stacker -
http://zerenesystems.com/stacker/
there is a free program combine czp that is also very good -
http://www.hadleyweb.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/CZP/Installation.htm



to start shooting i hold the stem with perched butterfly in left hand, holding a leaf between fingers to give background colour.
the lens is suported by my thumb or fingers and slid along to change focus points as frames are shot.
everything is therefore kept steady,if my hand moves slightly so does the stem and butterfly, which means all frames are quite well aligned.


4985796589_0708b74f19_b.jpg

resting lens on thumb for support, the blue male butterfly is the one i was shooting

4986397696_0ee9f9ec0a_b.jpg


here are the five frames as shot,just converted from raw files and shown resized for web.only slight different focus planes, starting with the nearest hairs towards the camera and shooting each consecutive frame further into the subject , the last of the five frames has the back hairs on the nose in focus.
you can see they are not exactly aligned but zerene stacker still aligned them pretty good. i then used "edit" to clone all the best, sharpest areas.


#1 USED FOR HAIRS NEAREST ON SHOULDER AREA AND ANTENNA DETAILS

4986689964_f653408d16_b.jpg

#2 THIS IS THE MAIN FRAME WITH WING DETAIL

4986089217_327b273d61_b.jpg

#3 EYE DETAIL AND WING SCALES and HAIRS BOTTOM RIGHT CORNER

4986691012_63de37e391_b.jpg

#4 HAIRS AROUND THE HEAD

4986691436_98d23df700_b.jpg

#5 HAIRS BACK OF HEAD

4986095805_d325a1accd_b.jpg


here is the finished image after stacking,minor adjustments with layer masks in ps. levels/contrast adjustment and very slight crop to remove stacking marks around edge , re size for web and unsharp mask




4986700006_ab7a977e18_b.jpg

HOPE THIS IS HELPFULL

PHIL

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