Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Almost Under Control

Well, the grass didn't get cut yesterday. It was soaking wet first thing after  overnight rain. By midday it was drying out fairly well when it poured with rain again. So it ended up as another day experimenting with stacked macro photography.

In one of his comments Adrian  (Adrian's Images) pointed out that the Canon was accompanied with software to control it from a computer. I hadn't bothered to install it as I have usually been disappointed with programs given with cameras and from previous experience Canon try to take control of everything. Anyway I decided to install it all on the MacBook. Adrain also pointed me to a set of instructions which go with Zerene Stacker detailing how to use the program which gives full control of the camera. It certainly does. Full control over shutter speed, focussing, ISO, etc.. Using the program gives very precise control over small changes in focus which is just what is needed for stacking. Also what the camera sees is show nice and large on the laptop screen. Much better than squinting through a viewfinder or at a small preview screen.

Three results of a couple of hours playing in the kitchen.

The first is of some moss, a bit over exposed which resulted in some haloing. That gave me a chance to use the Retouching facility in ZS which did a reasonable job of manually copying (painting) bits from single shots which were in focus to the final stacked result:

2014-02-25-10.30.03 ZS retouched
13 stacked photos

The second of a small succulent about 20mm across, was the opposite, under exposed, but that was easily fixed in post processing:

2014-02-25-09.56.29 ZS retouched crop
29 stacked photos

Finally a close view of a pine cone:

2014-02-25-12.18.48 ZS retouched
44 stacked photos

One thing I did find. Three red pixels. They always showed as a tiny red dot. With the change in focus comes a change in the position of the subject so the red dot came in a slightly different place as each photo is processed on the stack. This resulted in short red dotted lines. Fortunately they were easy to eliminate with the Retouching facility in ZS. At first I though they might be dead pixels in the camera but when I checked previous stacked photos they were nowhere to be seen. New dust on the sensor or fault in the computer software?


  1. These are much better. It looks as if I'll be having another go today as it's raining again.
    I'll try the focus control. It won't work on the MP-E but I'll pop an extension tube on the 100mm macro.
    I like the full screen view that Utilities gives. It does make life easier.
    I'm glad you like the software.

    1. Adrian. Practice make perfect, even if it is perfectly wrong sometimes.

  2. You are improving by leaps and bounds, John! Adrian had some excellent suggestions.

    1. Wilma. It's a good exercise to teach attention to detail and patience and I need practice in both ;)

  3. Any old excuse not to cut the grass John.
    Super macro shots.

    1. Thanks Roy - the grass got trimmed in the end!


Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

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