You are currently looking at 49 images … ;oD
"Why so many, Robin? … are you really as crazy as you seem?!!" –– yes ... I am ... read on ...
I had a vision for this shot and 49 shots in total (all here in this one image) is what it took to realize the final result relative to the limitations of the equipment I have. I shoot with a small camera and, because of its small sensor, I get a lot of ugly noise in my images. To combat noise, I shoot multiple shots of the same frame and exposure and stack them in layers which reduces the noise pattern while retaining image sharpness––7 per seems to be my magic number for success with noise reduction.
"But that should make this shot made up of only 7 images, right?"
The lens that I have available to me for macro can only focus on a very tiny area, no matter what manual settings I use. Even though this feather is extremely tiny, to get all six of the drops in the frame and fully in focus, I had to shoot each drop separately (plus an extra shot for coverage) and then merge them together in post work. So, what you are looking at here is essentially a micro-pano. 7 shots of each of the seven shots that made up the "pano". I have no software to do automatic focus-stacking, so I blended them all together by hand. While it is not that special of an image in the grand arena of the world, for all that effort, I personally am thrilled that I was able to pull it off! It's my masterpiece … :o) … maybe I should make it my #MacroFeatherFriday swan-song … unless all of you are still having fun playing?
I am curious how many people will notice the "surprise" (did any of my #GMAPP , #GMAPP2 or #GMAPP3 find it before reading here? … ;o))
There is a shy little "dancer" in my chorus line …
One of the droplets actually fell behind the feather when I was laying the drops. My first thought was, "oh crap … now I have to start again!" (I'd already laid four … and it's so tedious to get them just where you want them). But it just hung there, so I decided to go with it … ;o7
I had this little number running through my head while I was editing my tiny golden "dancers" … ;o))
A Chorus Line - One ( Finale)
Give your own ideas a try. #MacroFeatherFriday is a theme for experimenting with macro set-ups and lighting.
Today is #MacroFeatherFriday , curated by +E.E. Giorgi and +Robin Griggs Wood … We just love to see what you see! (Find the "how to" below!)
I missed a lot of your shots last week due to my illness, so I am going to check out last week's as well (thank you for your patience with me.)
How to play #MacroFeatherFriday ––
We want to encourage you to get up close and personal with feathers and try more of these shots, experimenting with the capabilities of your camera or trying out new lenses and new ideas for composition. Not that we don't like full bird shots, but there are so many bird themes available already, we want you to get as close as you can to those feathers! They can still be attached to the bird … ;o) … but move in and see just how much detail you can get from the feather/s––their lines, shapes, patterns and colors. It's a fun challenge, and we'll be on the sidelines cheering you on!
You can shoot in situ or create your own lighting setup at home. Most of all, just play, use your imagination and try every crazy idea you come up with!
I like to create different backgrounds by merely scooting a colorful postcard around behind the feather. Do peruse the #MacroFeatherFriday posts from the past, because several of the photographers and people responding in the comments share their ideas, too.
Good resources for feathers can be craft stores, dusters or just finds in wandering around your neighborhood. Maybe there is a pillow in the house you can kill for your art. … ;oD
We really are thrilled when folks post a feather shot. From what I've seen so far, the possibilities for composition and creativity are endless. I hope to see one from you tomorrow!
☛ HOW TO DO WATER DROPS
I'm afraid that the process in getting a successful water-drop is just as frustrating as many have described. Most of them fall off because of the weight. I have a lot of "duds" in my collection! Where I have had the best success is through the following.
-- where you place your drop must be a perfectly level surface. My setup is on the dining room table, with a desk lamp or other simple light sources and an alligator clip on a stand.
-- the drop must be very, very tiny for it not to have too much weight where it falls off the feather. That means that you will need a lot of magnification when shooting to really see it. I use one of my father's old lenses in reverse (run a search on "reverse macro technique") along with a 4x diopter lens added on at times.
I can be a hit and miss thing. Sometimes you get it just right though, and then you need to shoot fast––be all set up and ready to click, place your drop (watch it fall off a dozen times ;oD) and when you get one that is small enough to stay put, click! It helps as well to use a tripod (a small tabletop size will work for this) and a remote can be used to cut down camera shake. Don't forget to hold your breath while you're clicking!
Here's how a general workflow should go for the shot:
Put feather into place under the desklamp;
look into viewfinder;
move feather until you see it fully sharp;
move feather at least 20 more times;
"settle" for last arrangement and cross fingers;
carefully place a single micro-drop of water onto the feather;
watch as it falls into the wrong place;
repeat several more times;
"settle" for last placement and cross fingers;
place colorful or glittery background behind feather/water configuration;
watch as it falls onto the configuration because you didn't secure it properly;
move feather again and replace water drop that has fallen off;
don't care that it is not as perfect as it almost was the last time;
scoot background around more carefully this time;
shoot image at least 20 times, moving camera ever so slightly each time because, even in live view, you can't really tell if it is completely focused or not;
get exasperated and go get a pair of magnifying glasses and shoot the shot one more time.
Just so easy!
Click on the #MacroFeatherFriday hashtag and there are many people who share their ideas, as well, for your edification and inspiration.
More great themes to share your feather shots with:
#hqspmacro with thanks to +Vinod Krishnamoorthy +Rinus Bakker +Vishal Kumar and +HQSP Macro
#Macro4All with thanks to +Walter Soestbergen and +Macro4All
Themes and hashtags are a valuable indexing method, which help others find relevant posts via clickable links.
#rgwoodpost #canonphotography #canonphotographer #digitalphotography #amazing #naturephotography +NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY +Nature Photography #color #colors #inspiration #canonphotography #macrophotography #featherphotography #waterdropsphotography #waterdrop #waterdrops #behindthescenes #BTS #photographyworkflow #photographytips
Please feel free to ask me, if you would like any of my images made available for print at robingriggswood.com