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

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

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Mike “Mish” Shedlock