Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Daisy disk

The center of a flower like a daisy is actually made up of a bunch of really small flowers called disk flowers. This image is an extreme magnification of the center of a daisy. Creating this photograph was rather challenging. First, in order to get the extreme magnification, I had to use the 64mm MP-E lens which is manual focus only. Then, at 5x magnification and at f/11 the depth of field is extremely narrow. Furthermore the lens itself blocks so much light that focusing becomes very challenging.

The scene was illuminated by a Quantum T5D triggered by a pocket wizard. I was able to focus by firing the strobing 'modeling light' of the T5D. At f/11 the depth of field was still so narrow that it most of the image frame was out of focus. So I racked the focus slightly forward and backward and took 6 additional exposures which I then combined in Photoshop CS4 using the Extended Depth of Field Auto-blend mode.

I can see why people quickly lose interest in the MP-E 65mm lens, it really is a challenge to set up and use. However when you do set it up, you get the chance to capture a different perspective on an otherwise mundane subject.

Technical Specs: Canon 5D2, 65mm MP-E, f/11, 1/125s, ISO 400, strobe fired. 6 exposures combined in PSCS4.

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