This is one of those posts that is more technical in nature than artistic. I recently purchased some new equipment for my white box so I decided to use it to create some very detailed images of flowers. I plucked a Western Wild Petunia from my front yard and created three focus-stacked images of the flower from different angles and varying lighting conditions. The piece of equipment I was using is called a bellows. It is an accordion-like, pleated expandable device that attaches between the camera body and the lens.
Macro photographers often use bellows or extension tubes to obtain higher magnification. Extension tubes are a fixed length (e.g. 12mm, 20mm, 35mm, etc.) while bellows allow for small incremental adjustments. The one I was using was a 130mm model. The minimum distance is 50mm while the maximum distance is 130mm. This means that I can adjust the range from 50-130mm in very small increments. Using extension tubes would require me to change out tubes manually versus turning a knob. In addition, the bellows model that I chose also serves as a focus rail. A very versatile piece of equipment.
The images in this composite were taken with my Canon EOS 5D Mark III using my Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens attached to the Novoflex Auto Bellows. The camera was set on Manual mode with the aperture set at f/11 shutter speed at 1/6th of a second and the ISO set at 100. I captured 110 images in three sets in my white box. I lit the subject with three LED lights. I brought the images together using Helicon Focus (Method C – Pyramid). I used Lightroom, Photoshop and Nik Color Efex Pro to finalize the image.
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