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Tina Boes

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Jul 25, 2021
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This is a large pin that I am working with. I am still experimenting with focus etc. on the flowers and Butterfly. Editing items shot on black glass is tough, despite cleaning it before the shoot, there is so much dust particles to edit out!
This was 57 total stacked photos. I had some issues with white lines appearing on my final image after using PS to auto align and blend. They were very thin lines, almost like solid "marching ants" where the photos had been moved by PS for auto aligning.
Have any of you run into this problem before? If so, what is causing that? Editing those out was a pain as well.
Also, some of the flowers along the edges came out with misaligned petals and color blending, with sharp edges on the colors. You can probably see that on the right lower portion of the photo. I tried to blend it out, but I would like to know why that happens to save me trouble later.

As soon as I have things where and how I want them, I will be doing this shoot with real flowers.
Any other suggestions would be great.

Nikon D7100, 105mm Nikkor lens, f/7.1, 1/15 sec., softbox light and reflector, on black glass. Focus slide rail on tripod, 57 stacked photos.

Butterfly Brooch with lavender flowers.jpg
 

Andy Smith

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Sep 17, 2021
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Nice concept and image Tina.
Without seeing the white lines you mention I am not sure wha they are, they sound like dust on the sensor, which become thin blurry lines once stacked due to the slightly different focusing lengths. You can try to clean the images prior to blending, (this is very tedious though with 57 images, or you load all images into ACR / Lightroom, clean 1 image & sync the settings across them all) or you can clone them out afterwards.
For me Photoshop has always been poor at focus stacking and I now use Affinity photo for my stacking, as I get better results faster and it is very easy to tweak the final image if there are any areas I am unhappy with.
 
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Tina Boes

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Jul 25, 2021
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Thank you Andy. I'm going to check out Affinity and hope they have a free trial. I was using a freebie trial of Helicon Focus, I did like how it performed for the most part. But, I don't like that it changes my export settings in LR on me and I have to reconfigure them every time I use the program.
Next time I use PS and those white lines appear, I will remember to take a screenshot to show what I am referring to there. It is definitely happening when the auto alignment takes place, because they aren't there at all before doing the alignment.
Happy weekend!
 

Chavezshutter

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Aug 4, 2020
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Aahh good old stacks, they can be a pain. Photoshop is hit and miss with its auto align and blend but if you can manually blend its layers you can get a pretty good result. I love the end result, looks great, nice colours and very sharp. The only part that I see an issue with is the right handside - either Photoshop chose the wrong photo to use on that right border or there was no photo with that part in focus. Everything else on the photo looks great to me, nice jobđź‘Ť
 
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