Month: May 2015

Stacking It On…

More practise with the Focus Stacking technique in mind this afternoon. Had Stefan drop over and while he was experimenting with his new Fisheye lens, I was crawling on the ground with the 200mm Micro and mini tripod while lying on a blanket to keep the dampness off myself. The toughest parts so far are making sure to overlap the DoF outer range, and getting the shots done in a quick enough time so lighting and other exposure factors in the environment don’t change too noticeably.

So for a couple of hours shooting this afternoon, which admittedly was pleasurable in itself, I really only came out with 5 shots overall that I’m happy about the end result.

Cold Autumn Afternoon

Cold Autumn afternoons are still full of opportunities if only one can muster the effort to get out there with the Camera and seek the beauty that’s present even in such weather. So while I’m out shooting in the backyard, the Furbags come out for some exercise instead of getting fat lying on the slab in the study!

This afternoon I had my first real session of practising shooting with Focus Stacking in mind for the shots later. This is a technique I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. Today I took shots with that technique in mind for the post processing. I have to say that my first impressions have left me in awe of the opportunities this opens for my Macro shots in the future.

This first shot

is around about what I’d normally at F8 using the Nikkor Micro 200mm fairly close to the subject.

This next shot is a “composite” of six shots with slightly different focal points and all exposure factors the same.

Of course there’s a nifty bit of software involved to make this happen, called Helicon Focus, not cheap but works damn well. The above is not necessarily a great shot or perfect image, but it’s enough to demonstrate the technique. Over time I’ll become more practised and the shots will become better. But still a good afternoon’s work was done. I’ve some others to work on later, this was just the first to confirm how to make it work.

Maintenance Time…

Well I was up serious about an early morning shoot to get back into the swing of things with a tryout of the Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8 lens. But after a 5 minute wander outside at 05:30 I decided my cold infested lungs that felt like I had razor blades & ball bearings in the bottom of them were not up to the challenge. I’d stay inside and come up with something else. So I decided to do what I’d been intending to do all week since the arrival of said addition to the kit. This was create a new car kit, and review everything since I’d originally put it together as quite a few things have changed.

Gone is the D3100 that was tucked in there, I gave that away to a friend a couple of months ago after getting the D810. The D7000 now becomes the all reliable “yes you have a camera in the car”! It’s had a sensor clean, and I’ve given it the small backpack I was using as I’ve recently purchased a new manfrotto pack with more room for the larger lenses I’ve gained over recent times. So it was a shuffle of camera, lenses, cards, batteries, flash, remotes, and other peripheral gear between small pack, vest for other gear, and some for the larger back.

The D600 got a sensor clean, it’s needed one for a while, but finding quality cleaning gear cheaply is not easy. However it came up magnificently again, and is shooting as it did when I bought it. Those who know about the D600 know it was notorious very quickly for a defect where lubricant collected on the sensor. I had hoped I’d bought from a batch where the problem had been “silently” fixed as Nikon seems to be somewhat fond of doing in recent times. But in the last couple of months it seemed not so at some point it was going to require regular cleaning. I’ll see how it goes, it’s still a great camera despite this manufacturing defect. I took a chance, I was aware of the issue, and it seemed like as time went on your chances of getting one that didn’t have the issue seemed better. But that’s the crumbling cookie as they say. Anyway after the clean I had just enough light to run a quick test of the Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8 and see what I was paying for in a big way.

And the attached Tiggakat is a nice start.

A not so “Elegant” Gypsy…

This little lady was bolting along like her tail (if she had one) was on fire! Never stopped for a second on her mission! I wouldn’t have noticed her except she bumped on the study window a couple of times in her trek about the back of the house. Then she continued on around the patio and I opened the gate for her so she could get out the front rather than have the furbags pester her too much. They were more curious than anything else. Tigga’s seen several now, but for Chemoux this is her first.

I did have to stop and slow a few cars for her while she was trundling along under some cars parked on the side of the road. I usually see two or three of these in a year. This one is probably quite young as she’s the smallest I’ve had wander through in the last six years. Unfortunately the dull day, and her constant movement made shooting difficult and I didn’t want to use flash as her eyesight isn’t great at anytime. These little critters use their nose more than anything. So these are pretty ordinary shots, most of which I deleted, but many people don’t get to see these too often these days so best of a bad bunch.