52Frames – 2019 Week 11 – Experimental Photography

The theme for 52Frames this week was “Experimental Photography“. I have a fondness for pretty rocks/minerals, and I was thinking these days they’d be a nice photography subject (that doesn’t move too much). So last week I pushed the door of a mineralogy shop, and I got out with a few specimens to start experimenting.

This one is a chalcopyrite, and it comes from Wallis, Switzerland. Taking the picture was a matter of taking a lot of them and stack them using Zerene – which I had used successfully a few months ago for the Macro theme. I’m however super unhappy with this picture for a number of reasons:

  • I hadn’t fixed my white balance and ISO, which meant my pictures were not as consistent as they should have been.
  • The light was crap, and the shadow below/left is not pretty.
  • I have an ugly purple fringe on the left that’s ugly, and I’m not sure if it’s a matter of light, of lens, or both.
  • I used my lens at its longer focal (300) – by mistake, but I didn’t double-check what I was doing – and I think it’s not as sharp there as it would be at 200.
  • My white paper background is getting very dusty and I should change it.

So, all in all – many mistakes were made… but that also means that many lessons were learnt, and that next one will be better!

52Frames – 2019 Week 04 – Macro

The theme for 52Frames last week was “Macro” with an extra credit “Focus stacking”. I’ve been wanting to experiment with focus stacking for a while, so this was a good opportunity 🙂

I also knew I wanted to go for a somewhat “technical” shot – since I was experimenting with new post-processing, I wanted to make my life as easy as possible. But still – it took me a while to decide what interesting subject I could use, until my husband pointed out my hatching dragon figurine 🙂

I first did a round of a dozen pictures or so with my 50mm, ended up missing some focus points in some places, and with pictures that didn’t align well automatically (I’m suspecting that my 50mm lens’ focale is moving quite a lot when focusing). But at least it allowed me to set things up in a satisfying way, including using board game boxes to fiddle with the height of my pile 😉

I finally took a bunch (28, I believe) with my telephoto lens, which happens to have a macro setting. The “macro” thing may be pushing it a little, because the magnification factor is smaller than 1:1 (actually, the lens spec says 0.5 max magnification, sooo…), but oh well, I have a large sensor, I’m allowed large macros 😛

I first tried fiddling with Hugin and Enfuse, but I didn’t manage to make it work (I’ll try that again at some point, probably), and I finally dumped the whole thing into ZereneStacker, which gave me the above result with minimal fiddling (okay, fine, I did a bit of re-retouching of the image after the fact).

I hesitated on the crop – I did consider a tighter crop on one of the heads, for instance, but I decided that I quite liked the full figurine as it was. Also, this way, it doesn’t show as much how much this figurine needs dusting 😛