Milkweed Leaf Beetle foot side profile stack

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abpho
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Milkweed Leaf Beetle foot side profile stack

Post by abpho »

97 image stack with my new objective lens.
Image

UPDATE: Crops deleted to make room on my flickr account. I attached 800x800 pixel crops at the end of this post. Thanks.

There comes a point where one must separate oneself from the box and re-evalute the situation. I have come to the realization that this is absolutely NUTS, CRAZY, INSANE, ASTOUNDING, AMAZING, STUPID™. I am loving it. I am having so much fun with this type of photography. Booyah!

All insects should run and hide. Preferably under 10 meters of concrete.

SHOT INFO:
I ran the stack through two different stacking algorithms. These were then combined in photoshop. There was some additional cleaning up done in the background. The subject was pretty clean and remains untouched 99% of what you see. The vignetting is natural and was not added by me.

FIY:
This was my first pass. I actually ran this stack a second time, grabbing 168 images. I have not processed that lot yet. For now I will admire this image.

Image
Image
Image
Last edited by abpho on Fri Oct 14, 2011 6:43 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Craig Gerard
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Post by Craig Gerard »

Outstanding!

Lighting, composition, detail, background and the vignette = superb!

That first one is a real 'kicker' :)
I ran the stack through two different stacking algorithms. These were then combined in photoshop.
Could you elaborate further regarding the "two stacking algorithms" and possibly provide a quick 'snap' of your setup?


Craig
To use a classic quote from 'Antz' - "I almost know exactly what I'm doing!"

yeatzee
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Post by yeatzee »

I need an objective..... stat. how much for yours?

abpho
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Post by abpho »

Craig Gerard wrote:Could you elaborate further regarding the "two stacking algorithms" and possibly provide a quick 'snap' of your setup?
Thanks Craig. I used both stacking methods in Zerene. Pyramid maximum contrast algorithm, and depth map algorithm.

Here is the setup.
Image

In the above picture of the foot I used a bright yellow piece of foam. By moving it further away from the flash I can change it's colour (brightness). I can get that yellow to come out brown.

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

Perfectly done! That lighting is deceptively "simple". You've done just the right placement of that one strobe to get great modeling and surface texture without blowing anything out or getting excessively dark shadows. Did you do anything explicit for fill illumination, or is that just random reflections from the environment?

--Rik

abpho
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Post by abpho »

rjlittlefield wrote:Perfectly done! That lighting is deceptively "simple". You've done just the right placement of that one strobe to get great modeling and surface texture without blowing anything out or getting excessively dark shadows. Did you do anything explicit for fill illumination, or is that just random reflections from the environment?
Thank you sir. I am amazed what one flash gun can do. The example setup shot above does not show my diffuser. I use white dixie cups. The bottom is cut out to allow the lens to protrude into the cup. Then I cut a slot down the side to allow my subject stand to enter the diffuser. The flash is typically almost touching the diffuser and shooting straight down. The flash is set to manual. I try to keep the flash output level to 1/8 or fast. Sometimes I have to use 1/4 power since I will not set my ISO greater than 200. For some shots this does not work. In that case I reposition the flash to a different angle, or perhaps further back. In some subjects it is a fine compromise between blown highlights and shadow detail. I am not going to entertain the idea of HDR macro stacks. :D The position of the background also has an effect on the lighting within the diffuser. If I place it directly against the top of the cup, I "trap" most of the light within the diffuser. I get a small colour cast from the coloured background. But that I can clean up later. I was thinking of using custom white balance settings but I have not bothered yet.

The foam sheets have served me well. However, I have another idea for a background. It is sweet. Literally. Hahaha!

I am also going to try the Jensjo lights that Ikea sells. I don't want to kill my flash just yet. Lately I am taking close to 1,000 shots in a day.

Craig Gerard
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Post by Craig Gerard »

Ab,

Thanks for the details :)

The dixie cups and a single flash, that explains the bounced light illuminating the underside of the foot.
In the above picture of the foot I used a bright yellow piece of foam. By moving it further away from the flash I can change it's colour (brightness). I can get that yellow to come out brown.
That is in reference to the background. I was briefly confused until I read your latest response.
The foam sheets have served me well. However, I have another idea for a background. It is sweet. Literally. Hahaha!
Enjoy that 'sweet', I have really enjoyed this thread :o

I don't have any of the Ikea JANSJÖ LED lamps. They are still $29.99 in Australia. I've read there may be some variation in the output of individual lamps and long exposures are required.

A fiber optic illuminator (with internal IR filter) and a set of triple or quad branch light guides might prove more effective and economical.....can't see many options on eBay at the moment. Schott-Fostec and Volpi are two good brands. Bargains do present themselves 8)

Using a continous light source does offer additional benefits in some situations, especially when using a Canon DSLR. I'm not sure if your are aware of the EFSC (Electronic First Shutter Curtain):
http://krebsmicro.com/Canon_EFSC/index.html




Craig
To use a classic quote from 'Antz' - "I almost know exactly what I'm doing!"

abpho
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Post by abpho »

Craig Gerard wrote:A fiber optic illuminator (with internal IR filter) and a set of triple or quad branch light guides might prove more effective and economical.....can't see many options on eBay at the moment. Schott-Fostec and Volpi are two good brands. Bargains do present themselves 8)

Using a continous light source does offer additional benefits in some situations, especially when using a Canon DSLR. I'm not sure if your are aware of the EFSC (Electronic First Shutter Curtain)
Do tell me more about these illuminators. Perhaps some pictures. Pricing would be nice as well.

I was going to grab 4 of the Ikea lamps this weekend. If you get back to me soon enough I might save $45.

I have seem the article on EFSC but have not studied it yet.

Craig Gerard
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Post by Craig Gerard »

Ab,

The price of a good fiber optic illuminator and light guides would be considerably more than the $45.00 for 4 X Ikea JANSJÖ LED lamps.

I have seen good results with the Ikea JANSJÖ LED lamps. I mentioned the fiber optic illuminator because many members use them and such a unit is a worthwhile consideration.

It is difficult to put an exact figure on such a unit as prices are all over the place at the moment; but a rough estimate would be USD $120.00 and upwards for a used Schott-Fostec or Volpi FO illuminator. There are many types of light guides and again prices vary; but as I indicated, bargains do present themselves; but you would still be looking at somewhere around $250.00 for the illuminator and a good set of light guides (that's on a good day)

I have triple and quad branch light guides; but I also have a couple of FO ringlights and another piece designed for darkfield illumination. These were all collected over a period of time, and each one is used for various projects. They are extremely versatile and not too expensive if you keep an eye on the listings.

I'll find some links or post some images....but at the present moment I have guests for dinner.


Craig
To use a classic quote from 'Antz' - "I almost know exactly what I'm doing!"

abpho
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Post by abpho »

Thanks Craig. I hope your guests are delicious.

CheerS!

qanunji
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Post by qanunji »

Superb!

lauriek
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Post by lauriek »

Really very very nice! :)

The vignette works fine on that shot, sometimes they detract but not in this case...

DQE
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Post by DQE »

Such interesting details, anatomical structures, and textures!

Excellent lighting and composition, too!
-Phil

"Diffraction never sleeps"

Craig Gerard
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Post by Craig Gerard »

abpho wrote:Do tell me more about these illuminators. Perhaps some pictures.
Usual ouput of the units is 3200K, halogen bulb.

Here is a start.....regarding images and setups.
http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... php?t=9243


Craig
To use a classic quote from 'Antz' - "I almost know exactly what I'm doing!"

abpho
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Post by abpho »

That is one elegant setup. Makes mine look very sad.

Is it possible to get a micrometer on a linear stage with a resolution of 1µm? Or would I be better of getting the Stack Shot? With the stack shot a lot of the personal nature of the work is taken away. It gets too automated.

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