No all my subjects are alive and kicking, no killing or stunning necessary. Often I only get 2-3 frames in a sequence that I can stack but that pretty well doubles my DoF which is only about 0.5mm at f16 & 2.3x lifesize. I also shoot in bursts so I can get 3-4 frames per second which minimises subject movement between frames.
I use the SB800 (with the extra battery) in manual mode and typically shoot at 1/32-1/16 power. I know once I get near 1/4 power recycle times start to slow significantly and shooting even 2 fps is practical at this power setting. Obviously with live subjects you want to try and capture images as quickly as you can to minimise subject movement so that's when recycle times become critical.
Sun 25-Nov-12 08:34 AM | edited Sun 25-Nov-12 08:36 AM by AartPapaya
And I thought I was the only one that is not stacking. It must take a lot of practicing to hand-hold the camera, shoot, refocus and make sure that you did not change the focus too much or too little. Finally, what is a good stack-program? If I can take shots like this I will be over the moon.
Leigh's work is truly superb. I guess this hand-held approach is practice practice and more practice until it becomes a natural process so that he can respond and succeed with every opportunity? He does mention he justs moves back and forth to effectively 'stack' his shots rather than change the focus via the lens...
As for a good stacking program I have just started using Photoshop CS6. I believe it can be done with previous versions? It was a simple'ish process and I had success first time... It was easy to learn.
Quote; "If I can take shots like this I will be over the moon"... Yes, same here. It is that level of achievement that inspires me to take it on as a challenge...
BTW, your username - AartPapaya... Has it got anything to do with Papaya from Thailand?
Hi Aart, Plenty of macro shooters never use stacking and in fact some think it is cheating and refuse to use it because it violates the 'spirit' of photography (a bit like the attitude of many landscape shooters to the use of HDR). Most of my macros are just single frames and I only use stacking when I have opportunity (I don't purposely look to stack every subject I shoot). If I was just shooting at 1:1 I would not use stacking very often at all, however because I shoot above 2:1 most of the time, the extra depth of field afforded by stacking can be helpful, especially with large subjects.
When I shoot a stack handheld it is pretty well all done on muscle memory and for some of my refraction shoots I can shoot up to 50 frames in sequence without any gaps in the focus between frames. For live subjects I usually only use 2-3 frames and sometimes up to 6 if I can get that many without the subject moving too much.
There are a few stacking programs available. I use a free one called CombineZP which works quite well for me. Zerene seems to be the preferred program used by most 'stackers', however it does cost $100+ from memory. Helicon focus is another popular one but also costs around the $100 mark. I am pretty sure you can try these programs before you buy to see which one suits you best.
>Thanks for all this helpful information. One more question. >In the message above you refer to "refraction shots" >- not sure what that means. > >Thanks. > >Victor > >My website: www.rakmilphotography.com
Thank you for the information but even more for the inspiration. I will not even ask you about the reflection shot. I want to figure this out for myself. The lighting in your controlled shots are also very special.