Monday, 24 February 2014

Bumbling Heather

Following a look at the great stacked shots on Adrian's Images and the way things stand out against a black background I had another stacking session with this set up using the black foam lining in a postal package:


 I decided to try some macro shots of the heather from my garden.

  2014-02-23-10.33.41 ZS PMax crop
26 focus stacked shots

2014-02-23-10.27.21 ZS PMax
31 focus stacked shots

The black background looks better to me and I only used the LED table lamp for lighting. Later I spent some time experimented with the camera settings to get a better balance on the exposure.

While I was cutting the pieces of heather I had a surprise when I found a bumble bee on the under side of my secateurs. I put them down on the top of a wheelie bin, grabbed the 50D which always has the macro lens set up and managed a few hand held shots before it flew away. Afterwards I wondered how well Zerene Stacker would cope with those:

  2014-02-23-10.45.15 ZS retouched crop

Much better than I expected, especially as the bee was not completely still. Six stacked hand held shots.


  1. The bee is brilliant. It is an excellent bit of software. The trouble with black backgrounds are that even with spot metering It seems to fool auto exposure. I take and incident reading which works better. I would still be wary of using a white subject though. You seem to have it sorted.
    Thank you for the link.

    1. Adrian: Those were taken with the camera set to auto exposure and central spot metering. Later I set it to manual, tried different exposure times, checking each on the camera screen, until I had one which looked OK. Then I wiped those shots and started taking the stacking shots. That gave a much better result. I use wireless shutter control so as to minimise any camera movement.

    2. I use EOS Utilities and tether the camera to the laptop. It's not really an option for outdoors but works well inside. It is much easier to focus and the shutter is fired with a mouse click.

    3. This is no good for me as my macro lens is manual focus.
      It may help you or others though.


    4. Adrian: Thanks for that. I had never got round to installing the EOS software so gave it a whirl. Looks as though it could work well. Only the panorama stitching pgm seem useless. It stitched OK but refused to save the area I cropped, just the top left quarter!

  2. John - why don't you try a medium to dark neutral grey background for your stacks? The black seems a little severe to my eyes.

    1. Wilma: Black is a bit severe. Sometimes I use coloured paper. I'll have to experiment.


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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