I finally did it. I not only used my macro lens but I got out my rail AND downloaded a piece of software to stack several pictures. I realize this is not a great picture but it was my first attempt at this procedure so I'm sharing it with you.
I brought my camera with me on a walk with Floyd again and was inspired but had to come back to get my tripod and drop Floyd off. My initial inspiration was the brining they did on MacArthur in preparation for tonight's snow/sleet/rain mess.
This would have been the photo of the day.
I actually kind of like it. I stood out in the middle of the road, set up my tripod and took several bracketed shots. I got lucky that no cars came by. I'm certain they would not have appreciated my being literally in the middle of the road.
On my way back in, however, I noticed this. It's been so cold here for the past few days that our spigot has frozen and the water leaked out! I thought that was pretty cool so I tried to get a picture of it but realized after one shot that this was going to be an ideal scenario to practice macro.
I went back inside and set up with my macro lens and my rails. I learned that I do not posses enough strength to tighten the screw down to prevent it from slipping if the camera is cantilevered too far from the ball head. I had to make some adjustments and eventually I got these:
When I went inside, I did a Google search for photo stacking software and saw a few people mention Helicon Focus. They have a free trial so I figured that was a good place to start. I know there is a lot more to it than what I had it do but for starters, you simply upload the pictures you want to stack and hit the Render button. It does some presumably crazy math and determines the focal points of each picture, then combines them into a single photo. It does work with RAW files but will only save JPGs which makes sense I guess. So then I had to import the JPG file into LR and edit it. I found that it made the picture EXTREMELY light so I cranked the exposure dow by 1.4. Next time I do this, maybe I'll edit each pic and export them to JPG before importing it to HF and then see what it does.
Here's another one I did. It looks a lot better after editing it in LR.
This is what I started with:
Here's one more that I did. I will definitely need practice on this. Notice the blurry edges and the fact that the water wasn't ever in focus. By the time I was shooting this one, I was getting cold and I really needed to make an adjustment to my tripod to get it down lower but was running out of patience for that type of thing. I did use an astounding 18 shots for this one though! Here they are:
All in all, not too bad for my first attempt at stacking. I have plenty to learn but Eyal will be so happy that I finally did something new.
I'm a mother of 2 girls living in NC. I've dabbled in photography on and off but really this is just for fun