Temperatures continue to hover around 100 degrees with heat indexes in the 105-110 range so my light box macro days will continue until the heat subsides. This is an image of a Silver Dwarf Morning-glory bud photographed at 3x magnification. I was looking for subjects to photograph on my property and spotted this tiny plant. The entire plant was about three inches tall with a flower and a bud. The bud and the flower each measured about seven millimeters in length so I decided to pluck it and photograph it using my “super macro” lens.
There are many technical challenges when photographing subjects at high magnification. The primary ones are shallow depth of field and lighting. To counteract the shallow depth of field one has to use a technique called focus stacking. Multiple images are captured at different focus points and brought together into one image using special software.
One of the challenges of high magnification flower photography is that the plant can wilt before your eyes. Even with maximum efficiency, the plant can wilt before one is finished photographing the entire stack. Magnifications beyond 2x can detect even the smallest changes. The flower wilted quickly so I decided to photograph the bud. For this bud, the wilting measured about 1.5 millimeters between the first and last photograph. I had to work within Photoshop to complete the image. I took at total of 22 photographs to create this single image.
This image was taken with my Canon EOS 5D Mark III using my Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x Macro Lens set at 3x magnification. The camera was set on Manual mode with the aperture set at f/11, shutter speed at 1/4th of a second and the ISO set at 100. This image is comprised of 22 focus stacked images captured in my light box using three LED lights. I used Photoshop to put together the image. I then finished the image in Lightroom and Nik Color Efex Pro. NOTE: This was a 3x magnification. I cropped the image down to about 20% in order to show more detail. The 10mm ruler below the image gives you a sense of scale.
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