A Photographer’s Rabbit Hole

When I first started writing, this blog post was going to be about new beginnings. I was going to explain how, over these last few years, I like so many people, had accepted complacency in my life. I stopped writing my blog, my photo business was in semi-retirement, I rarely saw friends, and after moving because of supply chain issues it was difficult to improve our new dwelling. Trying to purchase simple items such as a refrigerator and stove took months. Boy, trying to get the proper materials for needed home repairs was at time impossible.

I realized finally those days are behind us now. April’s and my life have now finally turned a new page. We got a new website, we actually have subjects to blog about that just might be interesting to others. We have traveled again, meeting up with old friends, and those house projects are actually getting completed. It is wonderful to feel alive.

On the day I wrote this, I was walking around in our yard and noticed that the tulips and daffodils we planted last fall were emerging from the ground. When I walked back into the house, I noticed the African violet that was placed in front of a window in our living room had bloomed.

Wow, pictures of the African violet blooming and flowers popping up in our front yard would be the perfect photo analogy to my post about new beginnings. And that is when I started going down the photographer’s rabbit hole of making something much more complicated than it need be.

All I really need to do was take a couple of pics of the African Violet and flowers coming out of the ground and it would have been perfect for the post. But of course, being a photographer, that would not happen.

First, I took the photos with my Nikon Z6 camera instead of a quick snapshots with my phone. Then viewing the African violet through the viewfinder, I knew it should be a close-up macro shot. So I changed out the lens for the Nikkor Z 105 macro lens. Okay, now I have to use a tripod. Well, that is nice, but the photo could be better. Change the depth of field to f11. That is looking good, but it still could be better.

So hey Craig, focus stacking would be perfect. So I did the focus stacking in camera. Went to my office and once seventy raw files were downloaded into Lightroom, I realized I had not gotten the whole flowers in focus. Delete all those photos and do photo stacking again. This time from two different angles. Back to the office. Upload files to Lightroom. Yeah, everything is in focus and I only need forty-eight photos.

Then a couple of quick edits. Again success. Once merged in Photoshop, I thought this will look like a nice snapshot.

Finally, I uploaded the files from Lightroom to Photoshop and waited and waited and waited. Finally, I can align all the photos. Again, wait and wait and wait. Will those little processing dots ever end? Photos are all aligned. Now I had to merge them. More processing dots. Ten minutes later, the photo is complete and yes, it looks like a nice snapshot. Merge all the files and finally my little photo is completed. Actually, there were two photos I created this way.

And here they are:African Violet, Focus Shifting, Photographer: C. L. GetchiusAfrican Violet, focus stacking, Craig Getchius

So, it took me over two hours to create two photos that two snapshots from my phone would have sufficed.

I am not complaining about all this wasted time. Doing this proves it is a new beginning. Tomorrow, April and I are venturing into the woods hoping to photograph an eagle or two. CLG

P.S. Our new website now has some galleries. The link is at the top of page.

5 thoughts on “A Photographer’s Rabbit Hole

  1. It is a nice photo. Glad your life blog renovations and travels have resumed- It was a long pandemic. In December I was in Panama on a hiking excursion to see sloths. Our guide pointed one out way up in a tree and I had my well used Nikon 7200 DSR and 18-105 lens, I couldn’t get a close up. A lady beside me had an iPhone and with her two fingers she just moved the screen outward to get a close up. I was so deflated. my camera suddenly felt very heavy and I was thinking my camera is well and truly obsolete. I got a new phone when I got home, it takes great photos but not as good as my camera. I am looking at getting a new Nikon Z 7 mirrorless.

    • Kelly, yes iPhones take nice close up pics. But keep in mind that your 18 to 105 lens is a nice all around lens and makes higher quality photos than any iPhone. That lens can focus at about one and a half feet from subject. The next time you find yourself in that situation. Take a photo of your subject and then crop it. In doing so most likely you will take a photo with much more detail than what your friend took. I am lucky to own a couple of mirrorless cameras and love them. I have used Nikon Z cameras and Fujifilm cameras. Both brands take great photos but at the moment I am finding I enjoy and use the Nikons more than the Fuji Cameras. I enjoyed browsing your blog. Thanks for checking out our blog. CLG

      • I agree my camera takes amazing distance. I have a 300mm but I did take it with me on the cruise. I love my camera but i find it heavy around my neck if I’m out hiking walking. I usually take my Nikon 610 point and shoot for a small camera, I’ve gotten amazing photos from it.
        I’m so glad you enjoyed my stories thank you for reading and commenting, it’s very appreciated. Cheers

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