PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY GROUP MEETING: The best things come in small packages

posted by Ian Lewis in Club Meetings

David Dare's tabletop setup for Macro photography, image © Danny Callcut 2012

Ha! Two for the price of one this week - the Practical Photography Group's monthly meeting!

This month the world of table top macro photography, led by our own expert in this field - Dave Dare. We're well used to his amazing macro pics by now - not to be viewed as you're starting on Sunday lunch - and marvelled at the pin-sharpness of them, which with the limited depth of field encountered is nothing short of jaw-dropping.

Well, judging by the full house, there were plenty prepared to have their jaws dropped as Dave showed us how the end product is achieved using image stacking. He introduced us to his set-up - the bellows-mounted lens on a rack with micro adjustments achieved with a large, red, home-manufactured focussing wheel (thanks to Cadbury's if I remember correctly!). The willing (and very dead) subject was a hornet. Dave showed us how fine adjustments are made to the focussing and introduced us to the software he uses on his laptop for both firing the camera shutter and stacking the images. To cut a long story short, he takes over 40 images, each with a slightly different point of focus so that when blended they will produce one bitingly sharp picture.

He told us that many of his subjects come from a Russian museum - including the South American fly which gave us the heebie-jeebies last year! Apparently it's now gone home 'cos Mr Putin's asked for it back!

Thanks very much for taking us into your incredible macro world this month, Dave - and I've only just managed to write this as I've had nightmares since Thurs!


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