A COUPLE OF STROBES CAN ADD
EXTRA CLARITY TO YOUR MACRO
FLOWER PHOTOS AND LET YOU
DIRECT THE LIGHT FROM ANY
ANGLE YOU WANT
Window light is simple and effective for
a project like this, but flash lighting can
give your macro images extra clarity,
offer greater control, and minimize the
chances of subject and camera shake.
What’s more, it means the lighting
stays completely consistent
throughout; with window light, there’s
a chance that the clouds may part or
the light levels may drop. For the shot
on the left, we used three studio
flashes. First, a softbox was placed
above the flower for soft, top-down
illumination. Next, a second light, fitted
with a circular reflector was placed
behind the subject, angled back
towards it for harder edge lighting.
A third light was also angled onto the
backdrop, and fitted with a coloured gel
to add a touch of background colour.
Working in combination, our three
flashes lit the flower and the backdrop
for a vibrant close-up.
Open Helicon Focus
When we have all our shots, we can
combine the sharp parts from each frame in
Helicon Focus. Just drag the set of photos in
and hit Render to combine them. If needed,
play with the three Rendering Methods.
Once done, save the stack. If you’ve shot a
pano you’ll need to repeat for each segment.
Open Camera Raw
After stacking all the segments, the
next step is to stitch them together. One of
the easiest ways to do this is in Photoshop’s
Camera Raw. Highlight all the images in
Adobe Bridge and ‘Open in Camera Raw’,
then click the top-left menu and choose
Merge to Panorama.
Retouch and tidy
Experiment with the panorama
settings (for us, Cylindrical Projection
works very well) and use Boundary Warp to
tidy any transparent edges. Finally, hit
Merge, then open the image into Photoshop
and use the Cloning and Healing tools to
tidy up any messy areas.
Merge your shots
HERE’S HOW TO PIECE 100-PLUS PHOTOS
INTO A SINGLE, HIGHLY-DETAILED IMAGE