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palaeopix

Better Fossil Photography

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pleecan

Yes open source see above links in my previous post... NIH.

PL

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grampa dino

This technology seems very similar to HDR programs. Could an HDR program be sued in a similar way?

I've seen some "free" (demos, adware, etc.) stackers after a search, but are any actually open-source? I couldn't find any :(

As far as I can tell the two are the same, HDR was mentioned in early postings with little interest

Good cheap software is hard to find.

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palaeopix

As far as I can tell the two are the same, HDR was mentioned in early postings with little interest

Good cheap software is hard to find.

HDR and focus stacking are similar in that they both employ specialized software to combine two or more images to produce a final composite image. That's about as similar as they get though.

In High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography the software combines two or more image files, of the same subject, that differ only in exposure. Digital camera sensors, like film, have a certain dynamic range or latitude (in film terms). As such, sensors and film for that matter can only accurately capture images that fall within that dynamic range. So if the subject exceeds the dynamic range, HDR software can be used to produce an image that has a greater dynamic range than the sensor is capable of producing in one shot. That is the key. You must make a digital capture that is optimized for the Highlights (or whites if you prefer) and another optimized for the shadows. The software combines these two exposures (or three, four or five) to come up with the final image. Having said that it is also possible to use Graduated Neutral Density filters to achieve the same end result in one shot. But that is a whole other topic for discussion.

Focus Stacking on the other hand utilizes a series of images that differ in their plane of focus. Camera lenses are funny things, the closer they get to the object being photographed the shallower (smaller) the zone of focus. This is a real problem with high magnification photography such as macro (life size reproduction) and photomicrography (photography through the microscope). Focus stacking works with as few as two (or as many as the software will handle) images (of the same subject) that differ in their zones of focus. The software magically (no it's not really magic) takes the zones that are in focus from each frame in the series and combines them into one image that has everything in focus. The software does this all automatically. Pretty cool stuff. Sure beats trying to do it manually in Photoshop.

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grampa dino

And not to mention Bracketing, if one wants to thicken the soup :P

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pleecan

Hi Gang:

I just got my Helicon Focus software for FREE ... they gave me a licence by suppling them with some reference material for their use.

Their website states

"To get a FREE license to our products, you could submit a tutorial, an article or even an useful tip, that may be of interest to those visiting this site." see their web site for details.

I think that the Helicon Focus is one of the Best Stacking software around! ... a must if you are imaging under a microscope... the end product is a ultra clear digital image.

Some of the Best things in Life are Free.

Peter

Edited by pleecan

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Wakaritai

thanks for the detailed info.

also, that seems like a very reputable company. I haven't heard of a software company doing that in such an "approachable" way, and come through in a reasonable amount of time. Thanks for the update.

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pleecan

thanks for the detailed info.

also, that seems like a very reputable company. I haven't heard of a software company doing that in such an "approachable" way, and come through in a reasonable amount of time. Thanks for the update.

You are welcome! I hope that fellow forum members that are thinking of acquiring this particular type of software, take advantage of this potential freebie offer. The demo software is fully working version for 1 month trial period, then it requires the purchase of a license. In that 1 month trial, why not submit some of your material to Helicon... if they like your material, then they exchange that submitted material for a free license.... a win- win combination for all involved.

Peter

Edited by pleecan

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pleecan

Free software for digital images... Helicon Filter ver 4.93.2 Free.... electronic darkroom image processor.

http://www.heliconsoft.com/filter_downloads.html

Another stacked image Helicon Focus processed

post-2446-12705092372731_thumb.jpg

Edited by pleecan

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pleecan

April 9/2010

Update on free Helicon License offer.... just visited the site and the offer for free Helicon Focus License has expired... there is no trace of the offer on the Heliconsoft website. Considered myself lucky to have grabbed free license while it was available by submitting materials to Heliconsoft for there exclusive use.

PL

Edited by pleecan

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palaeopix

April 9/2010

Update on free Helicon License offer.... just visited the site and the offer for free Helicon Focus License has expired... there is no trace of the offer on the Heliconsoft website. Considered myself lucky to have grabbed free license while it was available by submitting materials to Heliconsoft for there exclusive use.

PL

The offer is still there!

Click on Downloads and scroll to the bottom. There is a blurb about getting a free license by submitting a tutorial, article or useful tip. At the end is a link for more info!

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pleecan

The offer is still there!

Click on Downloads and scroll to the bottom. There is a blurb about getting a free license by submitting a tutorial, article or useful tip. At the end is a link for more info!

Thanks Dan for finding the link!

Peter

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pleecan

Just an update.. Heliconsoft has just issue me a free upgrade license to Helicon Focus Professional unlimited version in exchange for photographic material for their exclusive use.

PL

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Blastoid

You sure that's actually barite from Dundas???

Blastoid

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pleecan

You sure that's actually barite from Dundas???

Blastoid

Well I was told by a fellow rock collector while I was at Dundas Quarry that the white crystals is barite, I am not a major mineral collector... please supply the correct ID if that is the case.

post-2446-1271456565039_thumb.jpg

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Coco

Hello,

I don't recognize baryte on your picture, but...

It is an heavy mineral. Is yours heavy ?

Coco

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pleecan

Hi Coco... no the mineral appears lightweight delicate crystal whitish in colour ... was found by craking open a porous boulder with a sledge hammer.....here is a picture of it taken with a regular camera.... the white crystals patch about 1"... maybe the white crystal is gypsum???

Helicon processed image....

post-2446-12714979618685_thumb.jpg

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pleecan

This is great! I did not know this program existed :)

I am a big fan of Helicon Focus... a must for extreme macrophotography of fossils.... revolutionary software that decouples the physics of optical design.... a crappy lens can yield superb results....

PL

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Grandblanc

Hello,

Since a few months, I use a AF-S Micro-Nikkor 40f:2,8 DX lens without any extension. This lens is super sharp and have a great contrast.

And I use Helicon software. Focus and remote.

I use this lens for micro teeth until 0,06 inch. ( 1,5 mm ).

This Mustelus shark tooth from Late Paléocène is 0,11 inch large. 3 mm.

 

Micrabacia, solitairy coral from Santonian of Belgium. 3 mm too.

 

Phil

Edited by JohnJ
removed broken photo links

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Malcolmt

Very nice photo of the coral......

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Al Dente

Grandblanc-

These are very nice photographs. What kind of lighting do you use?

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Grandblanc

Grandblanc-

These are very nice photographs. What kind of lighting do you use?

I use LED lights and a tape of white diffusion around the subject.

I use six lights of this model : http://www.ikea.com/...ducts/80169636/

Thanks for your comments.

Grandblanc

Edited by Grandblanc

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Coco

Hi,

Congrats Grandblanc for these marvelous pics !

Coco

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Megatooth Collector

Nice post. I still have issue with the white balance at time in trying to maintain the true colors of the subject. Thanks!

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palaeopix

Nice post. I still have issue with the white balance at time in trying to maintain the true colors of the subject. Thanks!

Thank you Megatooth Collector!

White balance (WB) can be a challenge at times , especially if you are using mixed light sources (i.e. sunlight and tungsten or fluorescent)! Most cameras have the ability to set a custom WB. All one need do is photograph a white card in the same light as the subject and then use that photo to correct the WB. Check your camera instruction manual for details! You can also use fancy WB filters to get a custom WB too! Of course if you shoot in the RAW file format (i.e. CRW for Canon and NEF for Nikon) you can always adjust WB in your Raw Converter, usually with a single click!

Dan :)

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