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Horsefly
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Charles Krebs



Joined: 13 Jul 2004
Posts: 1200
Location: Issaquah, WA USA

PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2006 5:43 pm    Post subject: Horsefly Reply with quote

Just got back from a few days in the Olympic Mtns where it seems like I was constantly surrounded by a frenzied swarm of these horseflies. So I took the opportunity to photograph these "head-shots".





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piotr



Joined: 28 Apr 2004
Posts: 445
Location: San Diego

PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2006 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Charlie,

Beautiful subject and composition. Amazing details. Incredible pictures. They make me want to touch the fly (even though it is very nasty).

Have you used 3D stacking program here?

Piotr
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Wim van Egmond



Joined: 08 Apr 2005
Posts: 440
Location: Rotterdam, the Netherlands

PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2006 2:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great!!!! Nice even illumination! I guess you used a tripod and natural light? Or a very diffused flash. I am curious because I am experimenting with flash but I think I have to get a more even illumination for that!

Wim
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S. Alden
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Joined: 29 Apr 2004
Posts: 2780
Location: Pennsylvania, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2006 3:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whoa Charlies, that is up close and personal. Beatutiful images and love the detail.
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Charles Krebs



Joined: 13 Jul 2004
Posts: 1200
Location: Issaquah, WA USA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2006 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They were made from "stacks" using Helicon Focus 4. I photographed them in the shade on a very clear day at about 6000 feet elevation, and the light was all from the blue sky. (I mention the conditions because with film they would have turned out completely blue unless I had used a very large amount of warming filtration. Digital sure makes it easy to handle light that would have been tough with film.)

Top two are with the Canon 65mm MP-E. The bottom is with a forty year old Novoflex 35mm (focal length) macro lens. Canon 5D camera.
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Wim van Egmond



Joined: 08 Apr 2005
Posts: 440
Location: Rotterdam, the Netherlands

PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2006 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Charlie, I already suspected it was made in the shade. This type of light is impossible to make with a flash, except perhaps in a studio:) It is a brilliant result! The great thing about Helicon focus is that you don't have to close the aperture that much. so you can work without a flash. But of course on a tripod. I guess there should not be too much wind and the insect should sit still as well.

Wim
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Beetleman



Joined: 02 Apr 2006
Posts: 362
Location: Southern New Hampshire USA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2006 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unbeleavable Shots Charles...razor sharp....every hair in place...you are the "MASTER"
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paul



Joined: 16 Jan 2005
Posts: 298
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2006 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Absolutely stunning!
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rjlittlefield



Joined: 06 May 2005
Posts: 727
Location: Richland, WA, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Charlie,

Wow! To say the least...

Are you willing to divulge technique? How many frames per stack?

--Rik
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DaveW



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2006 3:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Are you willing to divulge technique? How many frames per stack?

--Rik"


Also how much do you move the focus each frame and how quickly were you able to re-focus and take the shots? Obviously you cannot use the camera's motor to take a series of shots because you could not re-focus in between.

Perhaps we ought to get onto the major camera manufacturers to provide stepping autofocus combined with motordrive to automatically take stacks in a fraction of a second before the insect can move! I suppose if somebody could come up with a motorised focusing slide that started when the camera shutter was first triggered and moved the camera slightly through a series of motor driven shots it would perform the same function. I believe a motor driven stage is used in microscopy for this purpose? However it does not matter wether the object or camera is moved, the result is the same.

DaveW
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DaveW



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2006 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is an article here on the subject of stacking for both microscopy and photomacrography, also some of the software listed is free!

http://www.stereo3dgallery.net/ImageStacks.shtm

DaveW
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Charles Krebs



Joined: 13 Jul 2004
Posts: 1200
Location: Issaquah, WA USA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2006 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rik... I checked and the number of frames used were 28, 15, and 8 respectively. I used that focus rail/focus rack set up I showed you a while back, with a flat platform out front (at C) and a "doped up" horsefly. (Actually I assembled it with these images in mind). I have put a picture of it here for others to see if interested. As it turned out I changed focus with the lens focus ring. Even though the light was very even, if I changed camera/subject distance with either rack I noticed the colors in the eye facets changed a little and I was worried it wouldn't stack properly. The biggest challange was getting a smooth series of shots with about 150 of this guys buddies buzzing around me trying to extract some of my blood Shocked (not to mention the mosquitoes!)

DaveW... this technique is used extensively in microscopy. You can see a two much smaller flies done with a microscope and stacking
here and here. Alan Hadley's CombineZ program is free and quite good. (Dramatically improved in the past year or so). With version 3 and now version 4 Helicon Focus offer a very nice solution at a reasonable price. Others programs "designed" for microscope use tend to be a part of a comprehensive software package with many other functions, and can cost well over $1000. (and for my purposes the "stacking" capability is not any better). I use both CombineZ and Helicon, as one will sometimes do a better job with certain stacks. But ultimately I probably wind up using Helicon about 90% of the time. The technology for getting these "stacks" can be as simple as manually changing focus, to very sophisticated, with one of the more novel approaches I have seen found at:
http://www.photron.com/products.cfm?id=FocusScope
They have the microscope objective connected to a piezoelectric actuator and synchronized with a high-speed camera.
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Ken Ramos
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Joined: 04 May 2004
Posts: 4809
Location: Western North Carolina

PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2006 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

These are some really great photos Very Happy , as usual...wouldn't expect anything less from ya Charlie Laughing but I have a question about that MP. I have been thinking of getting one of those; in your photograph of the set up, is that the "entire lens as is" you are showing or are there some add-ons or adapters to the lens shown? Think
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Charles Krebs



Joined: 13 Jul 2004
Posts: 1200
Location: Issaquah, WA USA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2006 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ken... the lens "section" is all 65mm MP-E. (In fact it extends a little more... 5:1. The picture shows it at 4:1). There are no additional tubes or anyting in there. It gets quite long when focused to the maximum magnification. It comes with the tripod collar shown in the picture.
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rjlittlefield



Joined: 06 May 2005
Posts: 727
Location: Richland, WA, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2006 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Charles Krebs wrote:
Rik... I checked and the number of frames used were 28, 15, and 8 respectively. I used that focus rail/focus rack set up I showed you a while back, with a flat platform out front (at C) and a "doped up" horsefly.

Charlie,

Thanks -- this all sounds about like what I figured, except for that part about the "doped up" horsefly. A bit more detail on that technique, please?

DaveW,

The article by Dr.Hart is a good introduction to the techniques, but it's getting a bit dated. The version of CombineZ that he used is far inferior to the current CombineZ5, and he doesn't mention Helicon Focus at all.

There is another introductory article about extended depth of field photography for insects here. A discussion of more aggressive use for high resolution imaging can be found in the postings here and here. The same mechanics, with different lenses, were used for the carpet beetle and flower shots here and here. I think all these sources contain focus step size information like you asked about.

--Rik
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