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A Valentine’s bouquet

going small to see BIG? Or is it BIG to see small? I’m so confused…

a series about going macro to see micro

Some reference shots. Upper right: An iPhone photo to show the subject in natural light with the unaided eye. Its actual diameter is 20mm, a touch over 3/4". The bottom right shows a dime for absolute size reference. The left shows the two subjects for detail.
Bully Button
A starting point image, approximately thrice normal size.
As close as my 105mm macro lens will let me get.
A different side. Notice there are a few open flowers.
And a visual reminder of just how close we are getting. I am holding the Billy Button in front of my monitor which shows an image in my photo editing app on a 21" screen.
Through some rather orthodox techniques, we are now extremely close and can see the detail on these tiny buds! Unfortunately, I can‘t show this image or the one to follow (or any for that matter) at full resolution on this platform. The detail on my screen at over 5800 px wide at 300ppi is mind-blowing! Having to resize and resample to the preferred size for this platform and at 72dpi causes some loss of fine detail I worked so hard to capture.
These two images as cropped are probably a tad less than 3mm across. The previous image is the final focus stack produced from 8 image slices, each 1/2mm deep at f/4 and a working focus distance of about 2 inches. This image was created from a 14 shot stack, each cutting about 1/4mm deep at f/1.8 with a working distance of 4.3mm—yes, you read that right—achieved with additional unorthodox techniques. We see there is an unopened bud, a flower beginning to open, and an opened flower. Lighting becomes the biggest obstacle with so little distance between lens and subject, thus the need to get as wide an aperture as possible. In doing so the depth of field becomes minute, less than 1/2mm, thus the need to stack image slices of less than 1/2mm to get enough overlap so that the stack produces a smooth, complete image showing full subject depth.
Notice how at a close working distance that the portion in focus in a single shot is very thin, even here at f/11.



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Central NJ lensman specialist in closeup nature: flowers, small animals, insects, arachnids, bees in-flight a specialty. Intro video