Water Strider-First try, need help

Shooting in macro mode, techniques, tips & tricks

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Posts: 14
Joined: 22.05.2007 05:27

Water Strider-First try, need help

Unread post by FredT » 30.05.2007 01:02

This is my first serious attempt with Helicon Focus. I used a Canon 20D with MP-65 and MT-24EX flash mounted on a Manfrotto focus rail. There were about 25 exposures. I didn't do any cleaning up of artifact and such in Photoshop; this is the image just as Helicon Focus rendered it.

The problem: it is not as sharply rendered as I would like. I had trouble keeping everything lined up as I adjusted the focus rail, so there was quite a bit of horizontal movement and I had to adjust Horizontal position max value to 10%. Other than that I left radius at 8 and smoothing at 4. Is there anything else I should try? How does one usually go about trying different setting to maximize image quality? Thanks.
waterstrider.jpg (201.99 KiB) Viewed 5576 times

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Dan Kozub
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Joined: 24.03.2004 18:14

Unread post by Dan Kozub » 30.05.2007 08:51


I would say the quality and sharpness is great.

I would recommend you to experiment with different values of radius and smoothing. The only downsize of bigger radius is more noticeable halo effect, you will see this.

Also you can try to select only every second image. From my experience, too many overlapping layers may make the result worse.

Inge Fauskanger
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Joined: 22.07.2006 13:12

Unread post by Inge Fauskanger » 01.06.2007 16:45

I agree with Dan Kozub, this is a good picture.
About the light, the reflections are typical for the MT-24EX on shiny subjects. I would suggest to diffuse or bounce the flashes, to make a bigger light source.

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Joined: 22.05.2007 05:27

Unread post by FredT » 01.06.2007 18:30

Thanks Dan and Inge. I've tried a couple more since, and so far this is the best. I think maybe I'm using too many images and not enough control over stability of my setup. I've run through trying radius from 2 to 8 and smoothing 2 o 6. Best results seem to be something like 4 to 6 radius with 4 smoothing, but nothing has been just right yet. Now I'll try something like removing every other image. It's time consuming but fun!

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