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Subject on pin question

 
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Simonl



Joined: 22 Feb 2008
Posts: 22
Location: Nottingham

PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 12:40 pm    Post subject: Subject on pin question Reply with quote

Hello all, been reading through the forums - feel a bit out of my depth!
Took a few focus stacked images today of a dead fly. Attached it to a pin but struggling to "mount" it without the pin showing.



Next photo I just cropped the pin out. Was wondering if there were any techniques anyone could share with regard to pin placement or equipment to
use to negate photoshop work or cropping.

Many thanks

SimonL



Last edited by Simonl on Sun Feb 24, 2008 6:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Charles Krebs



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 5805
Location: Issaquah, WA USA

PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SimonL,

Welcome!

If the goal is to eliminate any retouching of a pin or other such support you can try mounting it so the subject is pinned to the background and the pin is completely hidden by the subject itself.

In some cases you can get by with the subject on a clear piece of glass... but that generally leads to battles with reflections off of the glass surface. (Although in some situations the reflections may prover easier to retouch out than a pin.

Your stacks look nice and "clean" with no obvious stacking artifacts.
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rjlittlefield
Site Admin


Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 20481
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SimonL, welcome aboard! Very Happy

Everybody struggles with mounting. There is no magic. There are a lot of techniques that people use. All of them have downsides to go with their upsides.

In general, it is very difficult to shoot an entire subject and not have the mounting hardware show at all in the original images. Most of the pictures you see in our forums and elsewhere either show part of a subject with the mount outside the frame, or the mount has been erased in post-processing.

Other than that...

1. Consider having no mount. Some specimens can simply be placed on an appropriate substrate and just sit there held down by only their own weight while you shoot the stack. See for example this carpet beetle and this jumping spider.

2. Consider placing the subject on a piece of glass. In this case, lighting of the entire environment must be carefully controlled to avoid reflections.

3. Consider placing the mount directly behind the specimen. Imagine a pin stuck in a blue card that serves as the background, with the pin pointing straight toward the camera and glued to the back side of the subject. See this caterpillar head capsule, and be sure to read both pages -- the setup is shown on the second page. Of course this technique requires choosing your pose very carefully beforehand, and even so it is often challenging to get the setup aligned just right.

4. Consider painting the mount to match the background. It's difficult to get the mount lighted exactly the same as the background, but retouching is simplified if you can get even close. When I reoriented the head capsule to take the second picture in a different pose, I used this trick.

Good question! I'll be interested to hear ideas what other people come up with. Again, welcome to the forums. Very Happy

--Rik

PS. Dang, Charlie beat me to the "Submit" on this one, but what the heck, I'm hitting "Submit" too. Laughing
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Simonl



Joined: 22 Feb 2008
Posts: 22
Location: Nottingham

PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the ideas - will have to put them into practice next time I have a spare afternoon.

Stunning caterpillar head by the way! Will be pleased if I can get anywhere close to this kind of quality.

Also loved the carpet beetle. Massive coincidence is that we've been finding these round the house recently and only today did I get round to taking some pics to indentify them (my first effort at doing a stack with my new setup - not even close to yours!)
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