aka timmia megapolitana - at least that’s what I think it is judging by how the leaves grow on the stem and that they’re toothed. 20-shot stack, DMap, extensive retouching. There’s a tiny springtail in this believe it or not. It moved around during the time taking the 20 shots. I chose 1 source image to place it in the final frame. It looks like a microscopic pink bunny.
Anyway…stacking is very new to me, but I’m getting better at it with each attempt. This was using the 0/+ focus bracket method and +4 steps. I think that gets a decent overlap between shots with a subject this tiny - it’s about an inch maybe a little more in height. It’s on the side of my driveway and with things like this in abundance I can happily spend hours just outside my door.
Specific Feedback Requested
I did a TON of retouching on this image and got it the best I could. Using multiple source images including the PMax image, I painted in more detail where needed and better OOF areas where that was kind of goopy. How did I do?
Is this a composite: No
Lumix G9 (as usual)
Leica DG Macro 45mm f/2.8
f/6.3 | 1/15 sec | ISO 250
Lr to adjust for overall exposure, clarity & texture, white balance and a tiny bit of green color channel management. Zerene for stacking - DMap output tif. Ps for a small crop and some Smart Sharpening.
Wow, Kris, I love this. The water drops (?) is a nice bonus, but I love the shapes of the plant. You are doing a great job getting right down to the grown for a very nice point of view on your lichen and moss shots. I got down on the ground yesterday and I’m feeling it a little today. Guess I’m not as young in my body as my head thinks I am!
Really nice image. Got a fresh crisp feel to it, and I love how the water droplets magnify the texture of the parts that ehh… stick up from the ground (my botany skills end at “moss” here sadly). I also see you dropped the f-stop on your stacks so no need for me to point it out in the “fallen moss” image. Your retouching here is pretty good. I didn’t notice any problems with ghosting etc.
If I was to change one thing in here it would be the green spots in the background. They compete with the main subject a bit for attention. You could just darken them in LR here, but be on the lookout for background while you shoot. It might have been a tougher spot for the tripod, but I have a feeling a step or two the either left or right might have yielded better color separation from the background here.
Yes I did and thanks for pointing that out. I think it’s a left over habit from non-stacking days and I accidentally left it there. Partly it’s experimenting with this lens. It’s fairly new to me and I’ve only had it about a year (and a lot of that is winter as you well know in Sweden). Prior to getting a ‘system’ lens for macro I used an 80s vintage 35mm lens with an adapter (an Olympus 90mm f/2 macro which is a gem). I did VERY little stacking with that since it was all manual and a bit fiddly. There are various schools of thought about where to put your f/stop for stacking - some say use the middle or the sweet spot of the lens, some say use a wider aperture that corresponds with the type of background you want. Yes, I know you can ‘paint in’ the background from any image into a final stacked TIF, but sometimes that just looks too weird. It’s all trial and error for me at this point. Lots of patience and repetition, but that’s the fun of it. Showing these tiny worlds that are often overlooked or just flat impossible to see well even with our marvelous human eyes.
You’re right about the backdrop. I could have shifted slightly and probably should have, but I liked the arrangement of the sporophytes (those are the things sticking up - they’re the reproductive parts of moss and contain the spores that will be scattered to spread the plant). At the very least maybe I should have covered the green bits with some pebbles to make them less obvious.
Anyway…nice to see another macro photographer here. Thanks so much for your insights. Welcome to NPN!