Friday, 25 November 2016

Idiot Wind

Idiot Wind

Idiot wind blowing like a circle around my skull
From the Grand Coulee Dam to Capitol
Idiot wind blowing every time you move your teeth
You're an idiot babe.
It's a wonder that you still know how to breathe.

Quite a few of the macro photographers whose work I admire write about using bust mode shooting to create images for handheld focus stacks. It's never worked for me in the past but I thought it was worth another go using all the bells and whistles on the a6000 which are very good for macro photography. So I took an MMT throughout the Sony menu systems to try and set up the camera to give me all the macro help I could get: Manual Focus, Burst Mode Hi, Focus Peaking on, Live View Setting Effect off, Grid Lines on. The Winter Jasmine is just coming into flower so, a quick snip, black background for contrast, halogen desk lamp for lighting (can't use flash in burst mode), and away we go.

And again, I was bitterly disappointed with the results. The lighting wasn't good enough so the ISO was high, but although Photoshop managed the alignment of frames very well there were big gaps in the focus resulting in lots of stacking artefacts. Damn, damn, damn. Also the buffer on the a6000 fills up rather quickly, a known limitation. I could fix that by upgrading to an a6300. On the other hand, writing RAW files to the (fast) card is also sometimes a bit slow, which is frustrating when you're trying to capture a sequence of an insect that's about to fly away or jump out of frame.

It was hours later that I remembered that I had the focus peaking colour set on yellow - exactly the same shade as the flower - so I'd done the whole thing blind. Hence this whole experiment doesn't mean much. I need to repeat, better natural light and maybe a more challenging subject like an insect.

It's a wonder that you still know how to breathe.

Winter Jasmine, Jasminum nudiflorum.

Sony ILCE-6000
EL Nikkor 50mm f2.8N (reversed) +30mm extension
f5.6 1/100 ISO 800