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by MND on Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:41 am
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With the first touch of warm weather the Bloodroot's in my yard popped up. I went out with my heavy tripod and Nikon D850 to try the Focus Stacking feature.  I tweaked the 50 files with Capture One 11 and exported as TIF files. The TIF's were imported into Helicon Focus and that where I need help.

 I tried the 3 options, A, B and C and I tried altering the Radius and Smoothing as well. Option C seemed to be slightly better I think.

Any suggestions as to what I'm doing wrong.

Image
 

by E.J. Peiker on Sat Apr 14, 2018 3:48 pm
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You just need to go in and manually adjust the image using the tools in helicon.  What is happening here is that you are throwing the petals so far OOF that the OOF glow is influencing the picture.  Simply read up on how to manually adjust the masks to fix this.  This one is an easy fix, when there's wind, that's hard!!!

Before doing that, try Option B with 8 and 3 as your input variables for radius and smoothing.
 

by MND on Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:49 pm
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Thank you E.J. That makes sense about the OOF glow, particularly on the white leaves.

I’ll read up on masks in Helicon.

Thanks again.
 

by MND on Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:04 am
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Follow Up:

I tried the Radius and Smoothing settings of 8 and 3 as you suggested and that did help. I then went to the Retouching tab and used the brushes to reduce the OOF glow. The end result was not bad at all, I could get it better with a bit more work but I know the principle now, thanks for that.

Just for giggles I tried stacking using Photoshop CS6, it gave the same result pretty much as Helicon but nowhere near as easy. It too gave the OOF glow just the same as Helicon.

The end result is here:- Bloodroot using Helicon Focus

I took 50 shots with a Focus Width of 2, 1 Second Interval, Exposure Smoothing ON, Silent Photography ON. I used a Sigma 135mm f/1.8 Art lens.
 

by Ed Okie on Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:37 am
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Mike - as EJ suggests, the default 8 and 4 settings as the Helicon Focus designers originally established work very well; whenever I venture off to say 5 and 2 thinking I'll get sharper results - seldom does it happen. Default 8-4 a worthy setting. Likewise the "B" choice. If I encounter background mottle in the out of focus regions, "A" often solves the problem. I find results from choice "C" is seldom worthy.

If wind (even a gentle breeze) is your nemesis causing petal movement . . . there's really nothing you can do. If there is a "secret" to this type of work - shoot at and start before dawn.

50 images strikes me as extreme, far more than necessary. Question: what is the f/stop and shutter speed used? At dawn I typically shoot at f/6.3, 1/80-125, ISO 1600, Canon 180 lens, Wimberly II tripod head, RRS tripod, for added stability I change over to 3" spikes at the end of each leg (in place of the round rubber knobs).

After all images are loaded into Helicon . . . any individual frame can easily be eliminated (from the vertical list of files, right side, 1-50). Before composting - page-through each of 50 in rapid sequence and if you find "petal movement" from frame to frame - simply eliminate that frame prior to processing; given the degree of overlap involved with 50 images I suspect you'll never notice the deletions in the final composite. HF is a genuinely remarkable tool. Addictive!
 

by MND on Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:46 pm
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Thanks for the suggestions Ed. I'm still experimenting with the D850 Focus Stacking feature. You set the number of shots you want and the increment between them, select the nearest focus point and go. It keeps going until you either reach Infinity or the number of shots you preset. I was using f/4. 1/2000th and ISO 64.

I'm hoping to get more practice now the flowers are starting to bloom up here.
 

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