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Do You Think He'll Make It To The Mountain?

 
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georgedingwall



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 207
Location: Invergordon, Scotland

PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 8:28 am    Post subject: Do You Think He'll Make It To The Mountain? Reply with quote

Hi all,

I thought I'd try an experiment today by using the Helicon Focus stacking technique to include a close up of a beetle combined with a distant landscape.

This is a stack of 15 frames from the beetle to the mountain in the distance. Due to the very bright scene, I had to save the images twice. One to get a better exposure in the dark parts, and one for the light parts. I then combined the two images in Photoshop.

There was a bit of retouching to do after the stack. The boundaries between the beetle and the grass and the sky and the mountain did not come out too well, so I had to use a couple of the original frames to fill in the gaps. I used Photoshop's "Layer Mask" to do this.

This technique seems to have possibilities. I will try this again. I think it might be possible to get some interesting results.

[

FYI, the scene used in this shot is the view I have from my front door.

Bye for now.
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George Dingwall

Invergordon, Scotland

http://www.georgedingwall.co.uk/


Last edited by georgedingwall on Sun Mar 02, 2008 2:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Erland R.N.



Joined: 07 Aug 2006
Posts: 334
Location: Kolding, Denmark

PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great experiment, and your title certainly brought a smile on my face.
Would love to see more of this, maybe with the insect facing camera, or from the side.

Btw. you have a beautiful view from your house.

cheers
Erland
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beetleman



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 3578
Location: Southern New Hampshire USA

PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love it Very Happy very cool looking George. Someone here one time linked to a camera that did that...with two lenses I think. Wink
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MacroLuv



Joined: 28 Aug 2006
Posts: 1964
Location: Croatia

PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

beetleman wrote:
I love it Very Happy very cool looking George. Someone here one time linked to a camera that did that...with two lenses I think. Wink

I want camera which can do what Helicon Focus can, with just one click! Very Happy
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The meaning of beauty is in sharing with others.

P.S.
Noticing of my "a" and "the" and other grammar
errors are welcome. Very Happy
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DaveW



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 1702
Location: Nottingham, UK

PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I remember correctly Oxford Scientific Films used to do something similar with a set-up called an Aerial Image Bench. To quote from their book "Focus on Nature" (1981):-

"What this system does is to combine foreground, midground and background scenes as sharply defined as required, with subjects which normally could not be focused upon simultaneously"

As I understood the system when it was shown on TV years ago, it used a lens focused on the background with the subject (say a small insect) placed at the rear point of focus of this lens and then the subject photographed with a macro lens which recorded both the subject and the aerial image of the background in the other lens in the same shot. No photo stacking in those days that I know of.

Wether I have got the technique correct I do not know because I have never tried it. I believe they did use it in some of their film work to make spiders appear as big as an image of a man in the background.

DaveW
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 14618
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

George,

You did a good job on this.

There's a fundamental problem in stacking, that background areas near the edge of foreground subjects get "contaminated" by light (or lack thereof) from the OOF foreground, at the time the images are shot. With a mostly black subject, the contamination will appear as a darkening of the background near the subject. I'm guessing that's the problem you described as "did not come out too well".

But then I can't figure out how you fixed it with just a layer mask. The usual approach is to retouch using the clone tool. There are several groups of repeated details around the beetle that suggest cloning or its equivalent. Hhmm... Perhaps, do you mean that you shifted one of the original frames to cover the contaminated area, and painted a mask to expose that -- kind of a non-destructive version of the clone tool?

The aerial image scheme described by DaveW does not have the contamination problem -- it'll give nice clean edges around the foreground subject. The same is true for the classic "bluescreen" compositing techniques and their modern digital equivalents for combining pieces of two or more separate scenes into a single image.

Switching subjects... I'm curious about what appear to be towers in the background. Are those power transmission, power generation (wind turbines), or something else?

--Rik
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Ken Ramos



Joined: 27 Jul 2006
Posts: 6786

PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know I was wondering about those myself. Sure are a lot of them if they are transmission lines, although wind turbines are a different story since I have seen them enmass. A beautiful view from your front porch and a very nice image too! Very Happy
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DaveW



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 1702
Location: Nottingham, UK

PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only trouble with "bluescreen" as I have seen it used on TV Rik is you often see blue reflections on the rim of the subject.

I thought I had read something on OSF's Aerial Image Bench somewhere and found it again in an old photographic part work:-

"The first of these is a refinement to the optical bench that gives apparently impossible depth of field, allowing two or three focal planes to be incorporated in one camera shot. This means that the camera can include a full scale close-up and a person 10 m away in the same shot with both in focus. The device is known as an Aerial Image Bench, and works by locating the smallest foreground object in the same image plane as a lens beyond. This lens is focused on another object which then appears in focus behind the first object.

They soon realised that this had a tremendous potential for miniaturisation special effects, and many sequences in the Micronauts, Harry Saltzman's un-finished film about tiny explorers, were shot using this technique. The sequence quoted earlier involving the miniaturised man and the giant spider was also done in this way."


Oxford Scientific Films started off as a natural history film organisation, and virtually every natural history film on British TV from the 1970's onwards seemed to have some of it's footage in it because they were technically so far ahead of the competition. They used to claim they had more money invested in engineering machines to make their own experimental equipment than in photographic equipment itself!

They took on some film special effects work using their unique equipment because it helped to finance their natural history work and paid for the development of even more experimental equipment, plus more expensive photographic equipment and lighting too.

I was hoping to find examples of Aerial Image Benches on the Web but cannot find any links to them at all, neither photo's or text describing the method. I believe the film makers also had a similar device that combined two films into one by a series of mirrors putting the background on one film behind the foreground on another?

It is a bit like double exposure in camera however, or putting a dog's head on a person using shutters across the lens to expose the bottom half first then reversed for the top half. Digital photography and the computer has rendered many of these old techniques redundant because George could now have stripped in his background in Photoshop and morphing software can now be used to put the dog's head on a person.

Does anybody know of a site describing how an Aerial Image Bench is constructed?

DaveW
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georgedingwall



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 207
Location: Invergordon, Scotland

PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2006 1:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Rik,

rjlittlefield wrote:
George,

You did a good job on this.


But then I can't figure out how you fixed it with just a layer mask. The usual approach is to retouch using the clone tool. There are several groups of repeated details around the beetle that suggest cloning or its equivalent. Hhmm... Perhaps, do you mean that you shifted one of the original frames to cover the contaminated area, and painted a mask to expose that -- kind of a non-destructive version of the clone tool?


I used a number of techniques to try to improve the final image.

I first used the RAW converter to create a normal and an underexposed sequence of the same frames for HF and combined them using a layer mask. I layered the underexposed image, which had the best exposure for the mountain area, on top and then painted out the mask to bring through the good parts from the underlying normal image.

I then did the same with one of the original frames to reduce the problem you speak of around the beetle. However, this did not entirely fix things, so I used the patch tool to sample other areas of the trees to fill any remaining gaps. That would explpain the groups of repeated pixels you spotted. I then zoomed in to a high level and finished off with clone tool to eliminate any persisting edge anomolies.

I think one of the main problems was that there were some frames in the middle distance of the sequence that had nothing in focus. I suspect that you'd get better results if there was something in focus in every frame.

Quote:


Switching subjects... I'm curious about what appear to be towers in the background. Are those power transmission, power generation (wind turbines), or something else?



The towers are a Wind Farm. It was built about 6 or 7 years ago. I think there are about 40 turbines in the farm. They are about 10 miles away, so they don't cause me any local difficulties. The towers are about 250 metres high.

Bye for now.
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George Dingwall

Invergordon, Scotland

http://www.georgedingwall.co.uk/
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MacroLuv



Joined: 28 Aug 2006
Posts: 1964
Location: Croatia

PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2006 1:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DaveW wrote:
... Does anybody know of a site describing how an Aerial Image Bench is constructed?
DaveW

I found this document, if it is helpful for you:
DESIGN AND ASSESSMENT OF COMPACT OPTICAL SYSTEMS TOWARDS SPECIAL EFFECTS
Cheers
Nikola
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The meaning of beauty is in sharing with others.

P.S.
Noticing of my "a" and "the" and other grammar
errors are welcome. Very Happy
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DaveW



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 1702
Location: Nottingham, UK

PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2006 3:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Nikola, as that is a fairly long download on dial-up I will download it later because it looks interesting.

For those in the US and elsewhere who don't know what a British wind farm looks like, try these links:-

http://www.davidjonesmp.org.uk/issuerecord.jsp?ID=13

http://www.energysavingwales.org.uk/index.cfm?fuseaction=TM.tipType&typeID=13

Not all are so densely packed, some are just a single more scattered line, as in George's picture.

DaveW
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georgedingwall



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 207
Location: Invergordon, Scotland

PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2006 4:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Dave,

DaveW wrote:

For those in the US and elsewhere who don't know what a British wind farm looks like, try these links:-

http://www.davidjonesmp.org.uk/issuerecord.jsp?ID=13

http://www.energysavingwales.org.uk/index.cfm?fuseaction=TM.tipType&typeID=13

Not all are so densely packed, some are just a single more scattered line, as in George's picture.

DaveW


Here's an arial photo of the wind farm in question. It's known as the Novar Wind Farm.

http://www.npower-renewables.com/novar/images/nov4.jpg

Bye for now.
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George Dingwall

Invergordon, Scotland

http://www.georgedingwall.co.uk/
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