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Oliver Wright

August 20, 2017 in Information

We had the pleasure of listening to Oliver Wright speak at the Birdfair in Rutland this week. It would be hard to imagine anyone more helpful than Oliver and he was quite happy to extend his talk into a demonstration afterwards.

I think we were all most interested in focus-stacking, and Oliver has become a foremost exponent of this technique, achieving some astonishing results which can be seen on his website.

He used the 65mm Canon 5:1 macro lens in some of his shots. This remarkable lens, unique in the macro field, changes length alarmingly as you change the magnification. There is no focussing, you set the magnification and then move the camera to focus. The depth of field wide open and at full magnification is a tiny fraction of a millimetre, but, thanks to stacking and his practised technique, Oliver can get a high success rate. Eschewing a tripod or any mechanical support, which are too inflexible with moving quarry, Oliver supports the lens with his finger at the end of the barrel. When he is near enough to the closest focus point he fires off frames in continuous mode whilst gently pushing the lens against his resting finger. That tiny movement, as the flesh resists movement, is enough to cover the field required. He then processes the shots in Lightroom (do just one in the series then copy the adjustments to all shots) then he processes the stack, usually in Ps. With the 5DS – the camera with no anti-aliasing filter and 50MB images, you can imagine the time this takes the computer and how big the finished assembly can be – 120GB was mentioned – obviously all this can be compressed into a normal sized jpeg in the end. Oliver does a lot of deleting!

There is now a blog on his website in which Oliver is going to discuss focus stacking specifically.

Members Evening 24 November 2017

November 25, 2016 in Crewe PS news

Martin’s presentation, about how Photoshop Elements can be used effectively in manipulating your shoots was a delight. His enthusiasm for changing the content of his pictures knew no bounds, but he kept a realistic feel (no unicorns ascending rainbows, though we did have an OTT rainbow which was not serious). Martin made it all such fun and still included a number of serious bits; the Lytham Lifeboat and Cornish mining disasters. He has promised a Part Two, and to be hones, I cant wait!

Wallace then presented 15 minutes about his recent nature photography trip to Norfolk. Here we were engaged in a different way; this time by the sheer spectacle of thousands of knot driven off shore by the rising tide, barn owls silently floating by in cold evening light and delightful Reedlings, Bramblings and even translucent fungi photographed at Sculthorpe nature reserve. Again, I hope we soon get another episode – the third or fourth in Wallace’s case.

John told us about a fascinating project by Levon Biss who has created some truly astonishing, detailed pictures of insects. This is focus stacking gone mad because his depth of field in working on such tiny things is only 10 microns, so he needs to stack dozens of shots. He then only works on little details at a time and composites the images to make 3m wide prints. Yes, that was three metres. Sometimes he has used 9,000 shots to make one print. He worked with Oxford Museum of Natural History, which has the second largest collection of insects in the country. The most striking, iridescent, strange (and perfect) specimens were used. If you want to explore this yourself look at the website

We got down the brass tacks with comments about our website by webmaster, Peter Robinson. Peter has just effected a brilliant improvement to the uploading of images on to the Forum, so we now expect far more contributions; especially to our monthly topic and the critique ones.

Finally a five minute look at how we could include discussion of individual work into these sessions. What a success! Within that five minutes we got deeply into the details of mounting prints and I learned a number of new things.

microsculpture-1920-15-2

Levon Biss examines one of his 3metre photomicrographs

These sessions show just how much we can learn from each other and just what our fellow members particular interest and skills are – a super evening.

 

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