Photostacking for Greater Depth of Field

I’ve been editing my fingers off the last three months, and I decided I deserved a treat. Y’all know I’ve been lusting after a good macro lens for the Sony, but I didn’t have nearly enough money to buy the one I wanted. However, I picked up an 85mm manual macro lens I’m already in love with, and I’ve only had it for half a day (as I write this).

I opened the box, put the lens on the camera, and zipped outside to try it out. I heard thunder, and the sky was dark, but I didn’t care.

This is not your usual macro lens. It is telephoto, for one thing, and it has three different focusing rings. Go here if you want to check it out. It not only shoots 1:1, which is true macro, it also offer 1.3:1, 1.4:1, and wowee, 1.5:1. That’s huge magnification when you’re taking pics of tiny insects. I did my homework. I read the reviews and watched the YouTube vids, and this lens has solid construction and excellent glass. Not one person said “Don’t get it.”

I chose this one primarily because of the low cost. Money is always the first thing you think about when you don’t have enough of it. I would have preferred a lens that had image stabilization and autofocus, but I knew I couldn’t afford it. Besides, photographers have been shooting manually forever. I knew I could make it work. Continue reading

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On Writing

I’m stealing the title of Stephen King’s book for this post, because that’s what it’s about: writing.

I’m talking about fiction writing, primarily books but also short stories and blogs and columns. All of it requires pretty much the same things.

Writing is something that seemingly everyone wants to do and few people have the discipline or talent for.  Anyone can scribble a grocery list, but how many can get a book published (trad or indie)?

It takes a lot of determination to finish a book. It’s hard as hell writing one, which a lot of people discover, to their amazement, and it’s no surprise when they quit after a few pages or chapters.

You give up things to write a book: dinner out with friends, movies, bar hopping, weekend trips, vacations, sex. Hell, you pretty much give up a social life. Facebook doesn’t count. That’s what you do when your brain is screaming for a break and you turn to social media to get it.

What does it take to write a book, other than giving up pretty much all external stimulus? Continue reading

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Photos: 8.19.19

R rescued a veiled chameleon from a road near his house, and because he didn’t know what it was, he took it home to find out more. It didn’t take him long to ID it.

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Before/After: Lake June in Winter

I was there early one morning, and there were no clouds. Just clear blue sky. It was so boring.

I could have replaced the sky with another one, but I decided to experiment instead.

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Black and yellow mud dauber. It flew up against the window, and I had to go outside to photograph it.  It must have just exited the cocoon, because its wings were still crumpled.

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