Mish’s Garden: Purple Prairie Coneflowers – Working With Helicon Focus

Purple prairie coneflowers are very hardy and mostly deer resistant.

They put on a long show in July in my garden every year.

Feature Image Details

For this set of images I used a my Canon 100MM Macro F 2.8 Lens at perhaps 1/4 life size. Meta data does not capture that information so I cannot say precisely.

This is a fixed focal length macro lens. It’s an excellent lens for butterflies and small insects.

 

Focus Stacking

All of these images are focus-stacked.

I took 12 shots in the composite above. Instead of blending manually, I used Helicon Focus to blend them.

For comparison purposes, here is one of the frames, un-stacked.

Single Image – Not Focus Stacked 

The above image was one of the many used in the preceding focus-stacked image. I blurred the background a bit in the final focus-stacked image to make the seed head stand out.

Depth of Field

Depth of field on close-up images is extremely shallow. The only way to get a completely sharp image is to focus stack.

Helicon Focus works best with stationary objects. Mountains don’t move but flowers do.

I took this set of images on a very calm day with little wind.

See image number 2 below of the Green Tree Frog for another example of focus stacking.

More Mish Garden Images

  1. Mish’s Garden Springtime: Bleeding Hearts, Tulips, Daffodils
  2. Mish’s Garden: Green Tree Frog on Bromeliad
  3. Mish’s Garden: Alliums and Iris Early Summer
  4. Mish’s Garden: Roses and Clematis Blooms
  5. Mish’s Garden: Columbines

Equipment List

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Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Mish’s Garden: Columbines

Columbines are one of my favorite flowers. Unfortunately, the new hybrids tend to revert colors or die out over time.

Feature Image Details

Canon 100MM Macro F 2.8 Lens at perhaps 1/4 life size.

This is a fixed focal length macro lens. It’s an excellent lens for butterflies and small insects.

Columbines and White Oak Tree

Columbines and Japanese Forest Grass 

More Mish Garden Images

  1. Mish’s Garden Springtime: Bleeding Hearts, Tulips, Daffodils
  2. Mish’s Garden: Green Tree Frog on Bromeliad
  3. Mish’s Garden: Alliums and Iris Early Summer
  4. Mish’s Garden: Roses and Clematis Blooms

Equipment List

Those interested in my equipment and recommendations can find it here: Mish’s Equipment List.

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  2. Economics: MishGEA

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Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Mish’s Garden: Roses and Clematis Blooms

The feature image is a huge Henry Kelsey rose, stand-alone.

Henry Kelsey is exceptionally hardy and grows in Canada. It is a once-a-summer bloomer but the bloom is spectacular, even in the shade of a huge White Oak Tree.

Feature Image Details

Canon 24-105MM F4 L Lens at 55mm 1/15th of a second, F14 at ISO 250

Jackmanii Clematis 

Nelly Moser Clematis and Zephirine Dauphin Rose

Roses and Clematis are a classic combination.

Zephirine Dauphin is not at all hardy in our area. It is at best a Zone 6 rose and we are on the hard side of 5.

It survived many years because I wrapped it in burlap over the winter and it was in a relatively sheltered spot.

Bad News

I lost Zephirine, huge pieces of Henry, four once beautiful Japanese Maples, and at least one beautiful Paperbark Maple (another is still questionable), this past Winter.

Thus, the above images are from prior years.

What Happened?

Winter was not all that harsh, but there were two brutal cold snaps in April that killed all the buds.

Henry survived and will recover. He put on a good show this year but about 1/3 size.

Dear Zephirine is gone forever along with the Japanese Maples and one Paperbark Maple.

More Mish Garden Images

  1. Mish’s Garden Springtime: Bleeding Hearts, Tulips, Daffodils
  2. Mish’s Garden: Green Tree Frog on Bromeliad
  3. Mish’s Garden: Alliums and Iris Early Summer

Equipment List

Those interested in my equipment and recommendations can find it here: Mish’s Equipment List.

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Morte garden images coming up.

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Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Mish’s Garden: Alliums and Iris Early Summer

Those with a deer problem may wish to consider deer-resistant plants. At the top of the list are Alliums, Daffodils, Bleeding Hearts, ferns, and Iris.

Feature Image Details

Canon 24-105MM F4 L Lens for 1/6th of a second, F20 at ISO 125

Those are Siberian Iris in the foreground and purple-on-purple Bearded Iris further back. The round globes are Globemaster alliums.

Alliums are in the garlic family. Deer will not touch them.

Alliums and Iris will come back every year provided conditions are not too wet.

Bearded Iris and Globemasters

Purple Sensation Alliums

Purple Sensation Alliums

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Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Mish’s Garden: Green Tree Frog on Bromeliad

Every year I make “perching baskets”. They are essentially hanging baskets except they are heavy and sit on 4×4 posts instead of hanging.

I make my own baskets rather than buying them. These baskets are in the shade. Anthuriums, bromeliads, or even geraniums make a good centerpiece. The latter do well in the sun too.

When I was weeding my garden a week or so ago a small green tree frog hopped on my shirt. I picked it up and placed it on one of my bromeliads and it sat there for a number of images.

Feature Image Details

Canon 100MM Macro F 2.8 Lens for 1/60 of a second F8 at ISO 1000.

I took 8 images, first focusing on the eyes as they are the most critical element, then the right and left feet,  the nose and various other spots including the back of the frog.

This is very necessary. I was right on top of that frog, inches away and depth of field is razor thin.

Because of the leg extension, it looks much bigger than it is. There is very little cropping here, just a bit to center the frog perfectly. The frog, not counting the extension of the legs, is somewhere between the size of a quarter and a  half-dollar.

I was very lucky this little guy or gal did not move much for a sequence of images. I blended the images keeping the sharp portions of each one.

Perching Baskets

 

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Mish’s Garden Springtime: Bleeding Hearts, Tulips, Daffodils

Here are some garden images that I took over the years. I have accumulated many images, and these are early ones.

Angelique Tulips and Bleeding Hearts 

 

Bleeding Hearts and Golden Ducat Daffodils

The two images are this page were taken when I was still using film. I do not have the details but I believe I was using something like a 28-70 zoom lens on the tulip shot and a 100 mm macro lens on the daffodil image.

Normally I like everything sharp, but in these images I used open apertures to throw the backgrounds out of focus.

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Mike “Mish” Shedlock

 

Fun With Winter Shadows

The images were taken in early February after a winter snowfall. The next set of images were taken on a different day. Light constantly changes.

On the following set of images, the sun was higher in the sky then went behind a weak cloud at sunset so the colors are not as intense.

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Mike “Mish” Shedlock