Saturday, May 18, 2013

Today's walk report: 051813

For the most part I played with trying to successfully hand hold my camera in an effort to focus stack images on my walk today. These were all shot with a Canon 60mm Macro on a breezy day. There's no image stabilization with this lens and I've only tried this a couple of times before. Much of what your see are manual "tweaks" in Photoshop re-aligning images and pretty much hoping for the best with Photoshop's automated processes to do this. While it's not very complicated, it could be. If I were to really dedicate myself to perfecting some of the inconsistencies and make up for subject and camera movement, etc., this whole exercise would have become a lot more tedious. In a way I welcome the fact that my images weren't exceptional enough to warrant the extra work and I will also welcome a time in which they are. For now I had some fun and learned some of the pitfalls and idiosyncrasies of this process. Aside from the post work aspect I ended up coming home with 1,408 images. A new walk time record.

For those of you who don't know what I mean by focus stacking here's the description Wikipedia provides. If you want to know more then Google it or click the links which are coming along for the ride on my copy/paste below.

Focus stacking
(also known as focal plane merging and z-stacking[1] or focus blending) is a digital image processing technique which combines multiple images taken at different focus distances to give a resulting image with a greater depth of field (DOF) than any of the individual source images.[2][3] Focus stacking can be used in any situation where individual images have a very shallow depth of field; macro photography and optical microscopy are two typical examples.
Focus stacking offers flexibility: as focus stacking is a computational technique, images with several different depths of field can be generated in post-processing and compared for best artistic merit or scientific clarity. Focus stacking also allows generation of images physically impossible with normal imaging equipment; images with nonplanar focus regions can be generated. Alternative techniques for generating images with increased or flexible depth of field include wavefront coding and plenoptic cameras.

Before all that got started I saw this tiny wasp dragging what appears to be a two-armed spider carcass on the sidewalk. I don't know if the darn thing was trying to fly or what but it's frenzied little dance made getting a picture pretty difficult besides this wasp not being much larger than an ant. That's not gravel, that's concrete sidewalk.

Kangaroo paws, 7 images merged and aligned.
This was 12 blended images. I liked the way those background colors came together.
The main composition could use some work. For the most part I'm going to try
and not point shit out. So....
6 blended images.
Apache Plume (Fallugia paradoxa) it's both a plume and a flower... well you can see that can't you?
This was 8 blended images.
Some succulent, 4 image stack.
Cabbage White (Pieris rapae). I would have liked a few more shots here
but overall I'm pretty happy for this butterfly's patience with me. 4 images.
Cropped, close-up, Cabbage White (Pieris rapae). This was a 4 image stack.
Aphids on Narrow-leaved milkweed (Asclepias fascicularis). 4 images blended.
Ladybug (Coccinellidae family of beetles) on yarrow. 3 images blended.

Conejo Buckwheat or Saffron Buckwheat (Eriogonum crocatum). 9 images blended.

Paper wasp on Narrow-leaved milkweed (Asclepias fascicularis). 6 images blended.

Rainbow Lantana, 5 images.
Bush Sunflower, 4 images.
Desert Willow (Chilopsis linearis), 5 images.

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