Wheel of Fortune

Last Thursday morning, I was conducting a “workshop shorty” with a student when I came upon this wonderful-looking Blue-eyed Mary wildflower. What caught my eye on this particular flower was the wonderful, “wheel/spoke” composition the flower was exhibiting. Positioning my tripod above the flower, so that I would be shooting straight down, I moved in until the flower consumed most of the frame. I then placed my lens so that it focused on the nearest part of the flower, and began capturing the 14 images, moving the focal point a bit further into the flower for each subsequent image. Later, using Helicon Focus software, I combined them all to make this focus-stacked image, a wheel of true beauty:

Blue-eyed Mary wildflower

I intentionally did not photograph much below the level of the flowers. As you can see, I did not get the lower leaves in focus. If I’d shot another 15-20 images, I could have included these leaves, but I wanted to leave the lower portion of this plant out-of-focus, as a subtle background to the sharp flowers.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark III body
  • Canon 180mm macro lens, f/3.5
  • Bogen 3021 tripod with ball head
  • ISO 200
  • Aperture f/3.5
  • Shutter 1/320 sec.
  • Processing: Combined 14 images in Helicon Focus to attain a single, focus-stacked image

Note:¬† If you live near the Kansas City area, you are probably aware that in August we will experience a “Spectacle in the Sky”. We will be blessed with a rare total solar eclipse coming through our area. The daytime will suddenly turn black! Birds, dogs and other animals will go crazy! And people will likely be even crazier! In preparation for this rare event, I will be teaching a one-night class tomorrow evening¬† (April 18), that will teach you how and where to safely observe/photograph this wonderful, natural phenomenon. We have enough students to run the class, but still have room if anyone is interested, but you must contact the Cass Career Center now! To learn more, click on this link:¬† “2017 Photography Classes”



Posted in Focus Stacking, Macro Photography, Nature Photography, Photography Workshop, Wildflowers
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