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Improving macro pictures

 
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Daumantas



Joined: 11 Dec 2014
Posts: 39
Location: Lithuania

PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2015 11:13 am    Post subject: Improving macro pictures Reply with quote

Hi guys,
I guess I'm pretty close to what I want to achieve in a sence of image quality, but I still miss a lot. I would really benefit if you could give me some tips, on what (and how) could be done to improve pictures like this:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/132213817@N02/17203458019/

I'm using Pentax k7 with 35-70mm f3,5 macro or pentax 50mm f1,8 with some auto extension tubes. For lighting I use Pentax af160fc ring flash mounted outside of the lense (on a clamp). I found, that I get better light without extra diffusers on a flash.

I usualy set my camera on ISO100, 1/125-1/180 shutter, f8-22 and for flash power I use 1/16 or 1/4 of its power.


BTW: I'm tired of black background
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Carmen



Joined: 10 Feb 2015
Posts: 275
Location: Buenos Aires

PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2015 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hello Daumantas!

I'm just a beginner, but I see nothing really objectionable in the photo you referenced. The light is very difuse.

But I agree that the black background could change, it gives me the sensation of night. Perhaps if everything is arranged to be a similar distance from light source, then there would be no black background. This could be easily acheived by simple variations in the angle of camera relative to specimen. For example a perfectly perpendicular perspective in which the specimen is on a relatively flat even surface, and the camera directly above, looking downward at specimen.
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ChrisR
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Mar 2009
Posts: 7866
Location: Near London, UK

PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2015 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Try focus stacking!
First find the sharpest aperture for the lens you're using, and find a way to move focus in small controlled steps. You can try doing it carefully by hand, too.
ImageJ, CombineZM and CombineZP are free (still, I think) stacking programs.
For backgrounds, a selection of leaves ?
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Daumantas



Joined: 11 Dec 2014
Posts: 39
Location: Lithuania

PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Carmen wrote:
hello Daumantas!

I'm just a beginner, but I see nothing really objectionable in the photo you referenced. The light is very difuse.

Thanks Carmen, but I still miss more vivid colors and sharpness. Maybe I need other lens, or to do a better work in postprocessing.

Chris, I will sure try focus stacking. I guess it will do the trick, but when shooting live specimens in outdoors it's often difficult to get few identical shots and not to spook your subject away Very Happy
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