I spotted a budding Buffalo Bur (Solanum rostrum) plant growing while mowing the yard last week. I went out earlier this week and photographed the plant outdoors and I was not happy with the results. I then clipped one of the flowers and took it into my studio where it wilted in less than five minutes so I gave up on photographing it, mostly due to the intense heat. Then, I went out this morning one last time and spotted this little spider who gave me renewed inspiration.
This 1x magnification image was made using the focus stacking technique. I normally use this technique in the studio but there are times when it’s necessary to use it in the field. I’ve mentioned before that macro photography has a very narrow depth of field. The Depth of Field (DoF) for this lens/aperture/focus distance combination is 0.06 inches. In addition to DoF, other challenges for using this technique outdoors are wind and changing light. There was a breeze which moved the flower so I had to wait for a calm period before I could capture enough images to put together the stack.
This image was taken with my Canon EOS 5DS using my Canon EF 180mm f/3.5 Macro Lens. The camera was set on Aperture Priority mode with the aperture set at f/5, shutter speed at 1/250th of a second and the ISO set at 400. I did not use a flash to light the subject. I captured eight images using manual focus stacking (manually adjusting the focus). I brought the images into a single image using Photoshop. I then used Lightroom and Nik Color Efex Pro to finalize the image.
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