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Archive for the ‘Equipment’ Category


Christmas Balls (Helicon Focus)
Originally uploaded by bmthomas

Setup: I used a green geled Metz 48 behind and below the table at 1/4 power bounced off of a black background. I have a SB800 on a stand through a white umbrella camera left at 1/10 power. The gold ball is much more reflective than the red and green. I had a gold reflector on the right. Flashes triggered via Nikon CLS.

Christmas Balls Setup

So the challenge with this shot it that I could focus on the gold ball but the red and green balls were out of focus due to the limited depth of field.

Christmas Balls

or I could focus on the green ball but the gold and red balls were out of focus. This was probably the best of the three images.

Christmas Balls-2

Finally I could focus on the red ball but the gold and green balls were out of focus.

Christmas Balls-3

During a recent photo contest at the Bowie-Crofton Camera Club, the Judge Tony Sweet suggested that I could have used a program called Helicon Focus to put together a series of photos each one taken focusing on a a different part of the scene to create a final image that had greater depth of field.

So I downloaded a trial of Helicon Focus to put these three photographs together and create the final image which shows all three Christmas balls in focus.

Of course you need to shoot each shot from a tripod and manually focus. I was a little curious how Helicon would handle my hand held reflector on the right. Looks like it did a good job.

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Sharpness

When I started using a Digital SLR one of the first things I did was buy a tripod. Everything I read said I needed a tripod if I wanted to create sharp publishable photographs. Then I learned how to lock the mirror up and got myself a cable release.

Over time I have gotten lazy about using my tripod. I now have a couple of Vibration Reduction lenses and I find myself trusting the VR and trying to hold the camera steady by bracing against something.

Well I guess I learned a hard lesson this week. I was competing in a flower photography contest at the Bowie-Crofton Camera Club . The judge was none other than Tony Sweet ( www.tonysweet.com ).

Well the end result was that Tony threw out three of my photos for not being sharp. This was one of the photos that he considered not sharp enough. Remember this is a digital version and he was judging the printed version of this flower. I always seem to have more problems with color prints than digital.

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