My trip to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center a couple of weeks ago was one of the most productive visits to the center in terms of capturing great Texas Wildflower specimens. Typically, it’s hard to find perfect specimens but I was able to find a plethora of flowers that were in great shape. It was during that trip that I photographed this Texas Gayfeather (Liatris punctata var. mucronate). The plant is quite amazing and has a lot of interesting detail. It is another one of my favorite plants.
Photographing flowers using the focusing rail and the focus stacking technique without artificial light requires very low wind and special camera settings. I also use something called a PLAMP. It’s a clamp but for plants and it helps hold the plant in place while you setup and take your photo(s). I clamp one end to one of my tripod legs and the other to the plant. The end that clamps to the plant has a sponge-like lining on the inside of the clamp which allows one to grip it without causing damage to the plant. The main thing to remember is to unclamp the plant before moving on to the next plant or you will rip the plant out of the ground. You can also use the device to hold diffusers, reflectors or a wind shield.
This image was taken with my Sony A7R II Digital Camera using my Sony 90mm f/2.8 Macro Lens. The camera was set on Manual mode with the aperture set at f/8, shutter speed at 1/100th of a second and the ISO set at 800. I used only natural light to light the subject. I used the Kirk FR-2 Focusing Rail to capture four photographs and brought them together into one image using Photoshop with the Focus Stacking technique. I finished the image in Lightroom and Nik Color Efex Pro.
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