Want tack sharp images? Here are my photography techniques for achieving tack sharp images in-camera along with details of a free photoshop action.
Fluctuating temperatures along with frost and misty mornings have arrived. While the fading flower petals bid their final farewells. Hues of gold and russet are gradually etching their colourful palettes into the foliage.
Presently all around I see such beauty ...even in decay!
Want Tack Sharp Images?
Since I wanted to focus on the shimmering texture of the flower petal I needed the curving petal to be tack sharp.
This is how I set up the shot ...
- Adjusted my degrees kelvin for white balance (I was shooting in jpeg mode)
- Used the tripod.
- Turned on mirror lock up.
- Set the camera to shoot 2 secs after I pressed the shutter.
- Used a small aperture to gain a better depth of field - f14 and placed the focus point over the petal.
- Took a few test shots.
- Checked the histogram for exposure.
- I didn't have a diffuser outside with me but I was shooting in the shade. I placed my hand about 4 inches above the flower to prevent a few blown out highlights that were appearing on the test shots.
- Adjusted the manual settings until no highlights were showing on the LCD.
- Manually focused every time I made an amendment to the settings.
- Finally pressed the shutter button and hoped there would be no breeze!
Focus Stacking - tack sharp images
If I had wanted all of the flower tack sharp I would have taken a few more photographs of the yellow centre part of the flower with the focus point of the camera on those parts. Then stacked the images together in photoshop or Helicon focus. I chose not to do that this time. Moreover I wanted the focus to just be on the fading curving white petal.
Then I brought the image into photoshop. After doing my usual workflow (topaz denoise, a clean edit and a slight crop) I tried something different. I used an advanced sharpening action for web viewing by Russian photographer - Pavel Kosenko. You can read all about the action, see screen shots and download it free from www.perfectphotoblog.com. It's a great action for getting tack sharp images when viewing on the web and even in 2016 it's still my favourite sharpening tool.