I’ve been playing with focus stacking because it can result in spectacular results.
The sharpness and three dimensionality of this image are a combination of using a telephoto lens for a flat perspective and focus stacking to generate the depth of focus.
It can also fail spectacularly.
There are a couple of simple ways to fail:
Move the camera. Ideally, you would use a tripod, but I can usually hold the camera still enough. Especially if I lie on the ground and brace like I was doing target shooting.
Use too few focus layers. Nothing like having blurry stuff in the middle.
Let the subject move. Windy days are heck with flowers.
Align Jpegs rather that raw images. Jpeg images will vary in their color normalization and will generate odd color patches in the output. You can spend some time blending those by hand, or you can use the raw data which should have constant normalization.
It works surprisingly well when you get it right. I’m looking forward to trying this with landscape photography. The allure of a sharp, sharp foreground and background is hard to pass up.
The droplets on this web are neat – both because they make the web visible and because they are colored. The colors are from the reflected light and formed in much the same way as those of a rainbow. Neat?
One of the big differences between “just snapshots” and art photography is that the artist thinks about what they’re doing, what they’re trying to show, and how to achieve the desired result.
I’ve been reading and studying techniques of composition because … well … that’s one way to learn. The other is way is to go out and shoot, I’ve been doing that as well, and I’m hoping to have meaningful interactions with some of the local photography groups. (We’ll see about that last part, I tried before with one group and had a less than stellar experience. Cliques and in-groups are a thing.)
One book I’ve found useful is Richard Garvey-Williams “mastering composition” It’s inspired me to look again at how I edit images. You can’t always plan out photographs in the wild. You can try, but nature has a way of doing what she wants and the process of observation often perturbs the environment. Shades of quantum mechanics, say what?