A photography friend and I took a recent trip to a local nature preserve called Neale Woods north of Omaha. Ticks were plentiful and flowers were spars. We did encounter one flower that was pretty plentiful, so I decided to try my focus stacking technique. I knew that we would more than likely be taking photos of the same flower and in an attempt to be a little bit original, I thought I would do that. Now the challenging part of the whole focus stacking in the wild, is there is nothing to brace yourself on unless you carried a walking stick or a monopod, the wind was blowing like crazy (which didn't play nice with my suddenly developed allergy), and I didn't want to walk to far into the grass for fear of coming home with a tick attached to every part of my body. Ticks are plentiful this time of year and walking in a nature preserve by the river is always a wonderful spot to encounter these nice little #$@#$. So with that, my attempts.
I had a couple different runs at the same type of flower, but due to the wind, lining them up in photoshop took a lot more work that I was willing to spend. So grabbed one of the shots that I preferred and worked with it. Below are the results. I also caught a wild daisy during a slight halt in the wind.
Next, I had recently purchased a Tiffen VariND filter. For those who don't know what that is, it is a neutral density filter that you can turn from 2 stops to 8 stops. For the novice, stops are the amount of light that the camera lets in. Thus, using this filter along with my Fotodiox 10 stop neutral density filter, I was able to move the light from regular to 12 or up to 18 stops slower. Why you ask? There were clouds moving over head for most of the day and at 2pm in the afternoon, you really need to make it dark coming into the camera as possible to get the illusion of movement. Not wanting to hold up others with us photographing things that day, I did a couple quick shots. One was 2 minutes and one 90 seconds. The two minute exposure, I was using the full 18 stops and it wasn't nearly long enough of an exposure. I adjusted the exposure and stops using the VariND and 90 second brought out all of the shadows in the building and the grass, exposed the sky correctly, but blew out the clouds. Now that I have an idea, I am going to try this spot again sometime for a more dedicated session. Below is the photo to go with the story.