Macro photography focusing
One of the biggest challenge in macro/close up photography is where to focus in the image. Auto focusing with a DSLR usually does not give correct result. Most of the time I use manual focus. Even with the manual focus it takes a long time editing the image after I take the photo. DSLR makes sharp focus in front of the camera whatever object is near to it, but makes blur the background. This is good feature if you are doing portrait. You want your model sharp and all other things out of focus. However it is annoying if you are doing macro photography. You want your object sharp in every angle. Then you need to spend a few hours to edit the photo with Photoshop or other photo editing software. A lot of layers and re-touching will involve the process. I often think about it, am I the only one, who just want to enjoy the taking photo but absolutely hate editing that long hours…
I was wondering if there was any software would do that for me? Rob found one. I must admit I was not too hopeful about even trying it. Usually Windows software’s are not behaving well in Mac. But I did they had trial version on their website so I download it two days ago and tried it. I have used 500mm macro lens and 100mm macro lens. I shoot the cloves and rock salt photos (look at below the page) with 100 mm lens.
In this close up scene I used one model car with 5 scale model figures.
Scale Mode Specs:
Figures: About 1″ size
Model Car: About 3″ and it is yellow 1957 Chrysler 300C
How did I use depth of field in the scene?
I used 50mm macro lens with Sony A65.
I used manual mode, first I took burst mode 10 images. I was not too precise with my hand, then I decided do single shot instead of burst mode. I took dozens of shots one after another with a tiny different focus areas.
The result was much better!
I must admit Rob used burst mode, he was far better than me, but I was very happy with single shot result.
You should use a lot of light in order to create well-focus image. Table-top tripod helps to eliminate shaking. Turn the ring focus very lightly during the multiple shooting.
I was extremely happy with Helicon Focus app, it worked great. You can see animated version of how editing works here.
It saved tons of time of editing! It does it automatically in a few clicks. I have use 9 images to create the best focused image.
Rob tried up to 25 mages, the result came out fantastic.
You may look at these edited photos by Helicon Focus app here:
You can open the images individually or choose the photo folder drag it onto sidebar. It is very easy to use, works great with Mac.
In order to compare the edited image with the photo without editing process you should look at this image below!
Why Helicon Focus?
Helicon Focus is a program that creates one completely focused image from several partially focused images by combining the focused areas.
The program is designed for macrophotography, microphotography and hyperfocal landscape photography and solves the shallow depth-of-field problem.
Quality: advanced interpolation techniques, 16 bit workflow, direct RAW input
Scope: unlimited number of images, resolution over 100Mpixels, 64 bit support, Windows/Mac versions
Performance: very fast, multi-threaded, i7 compatible, batch and command line modes available
Tools: clone from source brush to repaint possible artifacts, 3D model , dust map, 2D panorama, Helicon Remote for automated focus bracketing.
For more info visit website: heliconsoft.com/heliconfocus