Saturday, 29 October 2011

Honey Bee Portrait Grafton Wood

Early in the morning on the previous brown hairstreak trip to Grafton wood , while walking along the main central path through the wood i came across a cold honey bee trying to warm itself in the first rays of sunlight .
This was too good an opportunity to miss , as i very rarely actually see honey bees so had to make the most of the chance to shoot a few high magnification portraits.

It was perched on top of a small white flower, i have no idea what it was!  lol    but i could hold the stem between two fingers on left hand , and then rest the lens barrel of the mpe-65 macro lens on my palm to keep everything steady to shoot the individual frames for the focus stack.

Focus stacking is a method of combining multiple frames, each with a slightly different focus point into a single image with a much greater depth of field than a single frame could produce.  at high magnifications diffraction softening occurs so i shoot each frame at f5 - f6.3 to produce the sharpest image possible.

Even using this method it can be quite difficult to align 5- 7 frames good enough for the stacking software to align properly.  shooting between x4 and x5 magnification is very challenging , a minute movement will prevent the frames aligning causing a doubled appearance!  i some situations , with just three or four frames i can manually stack the frames on layers in photoshop, but it does take a while to do !

here are the two finished images

In this second frame you can see a black background in the left hand side because the flash only illuminates the subject and no light can reach the background .  i always try to place a leaf or something close behind the main subject to prevent this happening.

here is the flash / diffuser set up used for these two images ,  i have added a twin sheet "tent style" diffuser to the front of the lens which spreads the light nicely .

     bee shots taken with canon 5d2, mpe-65 and 430ex flash gun

1 comment:

  1. Hi Phil,

    I think the stack ended well, even in the hard to properly manage hair of the bee. Looks like this one suffered a lot, the antenna are damaged and it is unable to clean the pollen.