The gift

If you look at the previous post you may find a theme… be it flowers or friends. This post goes to a long-time friend in Walla Walla who years ago gave us some shamrock cuttings. Our shamrock has given us a lot of joy over the years and I thought that maybe we’d run out of luck when the plant just seemed to be waning… lacking spirit and vitality if you will. And then it started to recover. I thought it must be a seasonal thing. Unbeknownst to me Dianne had fertilized the house plants and the shamrock bounced back… vigorously. New leaves and flowers are abundant and the plant just seems to be really enjoying itself.

I had a recent email exchange with friend Deigh about stacking images to create a depth of field in a photo that can not be attained without some magic. Macro shots are noted for their shallow depth of field so it is hard to get a full blossom in focus. I’ve seen a lot of photos posted recently that I really like. They show flowers in full light and with great focus across the blossom which fades into a very blurry background and foreground. I’m just guessing that most of the images were made by stacking a sharp image with another copy that is blurred out and then masking out the flower so it shows as being sharp. However they do it I like the results. I set up my camera today and used the shamrock blossoms to test a composite image creation using layer blending in Photoshop. I’ve had good luck using this routine in the past and will continue to use it in lieu of software that is designed to do just this one thing… blend sharp parts of multiple images to form one image in which the sharpness is extended.

I loaded 13 images into Photoshop on our new PC and waited for the magic to happen. It did. My thanks to Stacia for the gift that keeps on giving. My thanks to Dianne for bringing this beautiful plant back to life so I could play among its blossoms.

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One thought on “The gift

  1. Morning Bruce:
    I love the pastel colors in the shot and overall soft focus that makes it very gentle. Did you use Photomerge or Auto Blend in PS? I have tried both and tend to get the ghosting that seems to show up in your image around the top of the stem and the left edges of the main bloom. I wonder if Helicon Focus would do any better. Perhaps those are just other blooms in the background that I am seeing.

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