Crown of ancient days

A tiny hillside - sporophytes in the morning sun. A focus stack of two shots. Sporophytes are a favorite subject, but it’s easy to get overwhelmed by them because they are so thick on the ground sometimes. So I went for a softer look here and only used two images for the stack. I think it has enough of the moss and the frost to work. It’s in my yard, taken in October of 2020.

Specific Feedback Requested

Too soft? Should I have taken more shots for more depth?

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No

frosty moss

Lr for initial raw processing - little boost to exposure, reduction in highlights, boost in vibrance, sharpening. Zerene for stacking and some retouching. Back to Lr for a little more highlight action and reduced shadows.

1 Like

Nice little guy here, Kris. I like that you chose to stack only two images. I think it works very weak and keeps the feeling of a normal lens. The background in the upper left is a bit distracting but the subject is so strong that it really doesn’t matter.

This is a fine clump of moss and sporophytes, Kris. In a stack, I’d like to see sharpness in front down to the frame edge. With only two shots in the stack, why not up the iso and go to f/11 or f/13 for a single shot?

Cool! I didn’t know what those were called. The range of focus looks fine to me. That dark blob towards the upper left is a bit distracting, though. The light/dark contrast at its edge competes with the subject for me.

Yeah, that bit in the back bugs me, too @Bonnie_Lampley & @David_Bostock - I should have cleaned it up, but I didn’t. Sporophytes are among my favorite macro subjects and I’ve been shooting them for many years. More in my macro gallery if you want to take a peek -

This was a very early stack for me @Mark_Seaver and I hadn’t quite dialed in good habits. Not sure I would have stopped down much more because it would have made the background too crunchy for my taste, but maybe I could have taken more images in the moss formation itself. Experience has given me a better skill set and this little hill is still out there!

I like the subject here. Using a stacking software is difficult especially with the subject like this. I might have gone for four image stack. But there is a lot of work that one needs to do with respect to corrections. Definitely a learning curve. Mark is an expert as are several others on the site.