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Alister_G last won the day on April 20 2019

Alister_G had the most liked content!

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About Alister_G

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    : Bakewell, Derbyshire

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  1. Hi David, Yes absolutely it can be overdone. However one of the challenges of model photography is that if you use a physically small camera, so that you can get in close to get ground-level shots, then you inevitably compromise the depth of field, particularly if when using macro settings, the subject of the image can be less than a couple of centimetres from the end of the lens. Most small cameras can't cope with that, so focus stacking offers a way to address that and artificially increase the depth of field to something approximating what you would get if photographing the real thing. The one thing that immediately triggers the brain to identify a model is the lack of depth of field in a lot of photos, so as you say, sufficient increments to make it feel natural are what is required. Thanks very much, Al.
  2. That would be great Andy, no rush mate, I know you're busy. Al.
  3. I thought I'd post an answer, as I've been experimenting and learning how to do this. There is a downloadable script on the CHDK website called, appropriately, foc_stak.lua which when run allows you to set the Depth of field extremes (near and far) by pointing the camera and pressing "SET" then you frame your shot and let it go. It takes a configurable number of shots, incrementing the depth-of-field and focal length for each shot. you can then stack the resulting images using software. I used HeliconFocus for this attempt, but CombineZP and Photoshop also do the same job. Here's the results. First, a shot using the normal camera settings, without any CHDK enhancements, taken in Macro mode using the standard autofocus. This camera doesn't have a manual focus setting at all. Not my finest shot, I think you will agree. Next, framing the same image, with 5 incremental shots, and then stacking the result: You can see that I didn't correctly set the "Far" point, so it ran out of steam before it got to the end of the loco, but I think you'll agree that the rest is a vast improvement. I will play with this further to learn how to do it properly. Thanks. Al.
  4. This pair of images perhaps makes it more obvious. For this I used a different script, where you set the start and end points of the required depth-of-field by physically pointing your camera at the two extremes and pressing the "Set" button, then you compose the shot and start the script. In this instance I didn't set the "far" point far enough, but you get the idea. So here's a normal shot, using Macro setting and the auto-focus's best guess... You can see it failed miserably, really. Then, here's the same shot using the script to run 10 incrementing focus points, and then stacking the resulting images in Helicon: Much better, except it ran out of increments before it had got to the end of the loco. But that was my fault... Thanks for looking, Al.
  5. I've been experimenting with a photography technique called focus-stacking. By loading a custom firmware onto my Canon camera, I am able to run scripts - little computer programs - to control aspects of the camera's operation, including manual adjustment of the depth-of-field and focus, even though the camera, as standard, doesn't offer manual focus. The script I've run takes a starting point for focus, and then takes a number of shots in succession, altering the focus and depth-of-field slightly between each shot 3 steps down, and 3 steps up from the starting position (although this is configurable to as many steps as I want), then it takes a further shot with focus set at infinity. So you end up with 8 shots, with a range of focus settings. Then I copy all these shots into a clever piece of software, and it combines all the shots into a single finished image, with a much wider spread of focus than the camera can manage in a single shot. Here's an example: This image is a single shot taken as normal with the camera: And this is the same image made up of 8 shots from the script: The difference is subtle, but you can see that both the loco and the crane are more in focus in the second image, as the original shot was focussed on the central brake-van. I'm going to experiment some more, with a wider range of focus, to see what else I can do. Thanks for looking, Al.
  6. I have a Canon PowerShot SX620 HS, which has recently been added to the CHDK list of cameras, so I have downloaded and installed CHDK. I would like some guidence on how to go about using it to do focus stacking for layout photography. I have seen that there is a script available called timefocus.bas, but I am unsure if that's what I should be using. Has anyone any experience, who can tell me what I should be doing? Many thanks, Al
  7. There's some video of it here: 68068 is the Dapol shown above, 68012 is a DJM one. Al.
  8. Hi Dave, if you shut off the regulator it will coast, with just the clank of the action, but to be honest I have never tried to let it coast to a standstill, I might give it a go on the rolling road to see what happens as I don't have a long enough stretch of track to try it. It is very configurable though and I haven't done much messing with the default settings. I'm afraid I don't know which loco was used for the recordings, sorry. Al.
  9. Hi Dave, it's an ESU Loksound v5 with a J94 sound file from Olivia's Trains. Al.
  10. Lovely Steve, nice subtle colourings and it all blends together really well. Like Adrian (Westerhamstation) you have the knack of making things look as though they've been there forever. Nice work mate. Al.
  11. You have to collect up all the sawdust, and bake it into a Knäckebröd. Then cover in pickled herring, and consume whilst lying in a bathtub at midnight when the moon is full. So I've heard... Al.
  12. Brave man going to Ikea at Nottingham, but the end result looks great. Don't you know you're not supposed to saw Ikea furniture up, it lets all the Swedish magic out? Nice job mate, Al.
  13. My personal opinion would be to go for a plasticard roof, too. Al.
  14. I've just come across this, and am enjoying what you are doing. The turntable and the way you've sorted out the roadway are particularly good. There's a lot of potential for a great looking layout here. I will be following with interest. Al.
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