Wasp Nest


Mannesty

Link Posted 01/05/2010 - 23:30
Here's something I've been playing with today. It's a small wasp nest on one of my outdoor plants.

This image is made using Combine ZM and 22 .TIF files taken at different focus points.

The nest contains a mix of empty egg chambers, egg chambers under construction, eggs, nectar, and developing larvae. The egg chambers in the centre are about 1 - 1.5 cm deep.




Gear used: K20D, Sigma 1:3.5 180mm Macro EX DG , AF160FC, Pentax Macro focussing rail on Manfrotto tripod.
Software used: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.7, Combine ZM
Peter E Smith

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CoDa

Link Posted 02/05/2010 - 00:37
Amazing what insects can create, it looks like you could feel the texture of the chambers, great shot & PP
Colin

“Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.”
Edmund Burke (1729 – 1797)



gregmoll

Link Posted 02/05/2010 - 03:50
That's a beautiful shot, the detail is amazing. How long did it take to PP it with 22 layers?

Greg

Mannesty

Link Posted 02/05/2010 - 06:40
gregmoll wrote:
How long did it take to PP it with 22 layers

CombineZM does all the work Greg. Helicon Focus is another programme that achieves the same result, but CombineZM is free.

It takes about 5 minutes or so to process 22 x 25Mb+ tif files.

Tutorial and links here.
Peter E Smith

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K10D

Link Posted 02/05/2010 - 07:27
Excellent image. Good work.

Thanks for the link.

Regards

gregmoll

Link Posted 02/05/2010 - 07:38
I see you used the Pentax Macro focusing rail which, according to what I've read is very smooth and stable but is as scarce as hens teeth. At a rough calculation the steps between frames is less than 0.5mm, the Pentax rail is rack and pinion driven whereas, say the Manfrotto rail is screw driven.

My question, how controllable is the rack and pinion stepping, compared to screw stepping of say one turn between frames.

Greg

gregmoll

Link Posted 02/05/2010 - 07:47
A further comment having seen macro photo's compiled in this way with such great depth of field, I tend to diss those pictures where the only point in focus is the eye, the insects must be trained to sit still for longer

Greg

Mannesty

Link Posted 02/05/2010 - 07:51
gregmoll wrote:
My question, how controllable is the [Pentax Macro focusing rail] rack and pinion stepping, compared to screw stepping of say one turn between frames.

The Pentax rail is not easily controllable to be honest, especially with 2-3Kg of equipment hanging on it, vertically. In a more horizontal plane it would be perfectly controllable.

That said, it did the job. With gravity assist from the weight of the camera etc. it wasn't too bad moving the rig from top to bottom. Bottom to top is almost not possible because the weight of the rig I was using tended to be a 'tail wagging the dog' affair. The weight of the rig wanted to drive the rack and pinion rather than vice verse. The Pentax rail does have a variable clamp which acts as a good brake though.

The one problem you don't have with the Pentax rail is viewfinder accesibility. No part of the rail is behind the camera's rear screen so you can always see through the viewfinder.
Peter E Smith

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Last Edited by Mannesty on 02/05/2010 - 08:32

Mannesty

Link Posted 02/05/2010 - 07:59
gregmoll wrote:
A further comment having seen macro photo's compiled in this way with such great depth of field, I tend to diss those pictures where the only point in focus is the eye, the insects must be trained to sit still for longer

Greg

Oddly enough there was movement in my subject. The more developed larvae were wriggling about but it doesn't show in the result. In one series of images, (I took about 120 in total with different lenses )if I step through them, it appears as if there is a beating heart in the newly hatched larva (near the top of the image).

With other insects, I draw the line at chilling or freezing them, but if you catch them in the early morning after a cool/cold evening, they'll happily sit motionless for ages.
Peter E Smith

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aliengrove

Link Posted 02/05/2010 - 08:15
Great shot, lovely to see so much dof. Don't think I would have the patience for this myself though!
Flurble

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Mike-P

Link Posted 02/05/2010 - 08:41
Very nice .. have used Combine ZM a few times on 3 shot combos to get a bit of added DOF but not got the patience (or normally the subject) for 22.
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gregmoll

Link Posted 02/05/2010 - 09:09
Because of the scarcity of the Pentax macro rail I've had my eye on the Velbon, it is screw driven, not rack and pinion. Has anyone used one?

link

Greg

Mannesty

Link Posted 02/05/2010 - 10:00
gregmoll wrote:
Because of the scarcity of the Pentax macro rail I've had my eye on the Velbon, it is screw driven, not rack and pinion. Has anyone used one?

link

One thing to remember when looking for macro focussing rails is the amount of control you want or need.

My Pentax Macro focussing rail can only be controlled fore and aft, not side to side, and it has a maximum throw of 2.25 inches.

If you also need lateral movement, this rail is not for you. It is built like a tank and very well engineered but may not give you all the control you might need..
Peter E Smith

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Mannesty

Link Posted 02/05/2010 - 18:45
Thanks for all your comments.

I should have added in the gear list a 20mm Kenko extension tube, but I can't edit it now.
Peter E Smith

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i-Berg

Link Posted 03/05/2010 - 09:09
Very detailed image (or combination of images) Peter. If these were European wasps, you're game mucking around with one of their nests! They are absolutely vicious out here, one bloke in a Melbourne suburb died about a month back after being stung on disturbing just such a nest.
http://www.pbase.com/iberg
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