Wasps and flies on a fatsia bush

Images of undisturbed subjects in their natural environment. All subject types.

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gardenersassistant
Posts: 133
Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 5:21 am
Location: North Somerset, England

Wasps and flies on a fatsia bush

Post by gardenersassistant »

It was mid November last year. There had been hardly any invertebrates around for some time. The season was over it seemed. And then, we had several sunny days and a lot of wasps and flies turned up on our fatsia bush. Nowhere else in the garden.

I photographed them on three days. I have only just got round to processing the images from the third of those days (I have a fairly large backlog). There are lots of photos from that day in this album at Flickr. Here are six of them. They were captured with a 1/2.3" sensor Panasonic FZ330 bridge camera and Raynox 150 close-up lens, using autofocus and an aperture of f/45 full frame equivalent, with a Venus Optics KX800 twin flash. The raw files were batch processed in DXO PhotoLab, Silkypix and Lightroom, and finished with image-specific adjustments in Lightroom.

Image1432 045 2018_11_14 P1560654_PLab SP7 LR 1400h by gardenersassistant, on Flickr

Image1432 049 2018_11_14 P1560663_PLab SP7 LR 1400h by gardenersassistant, on Flickr

Image1432 055 2018_11_14 P1560693_PLab SP7 LR 1400h by gardenersassistant, on Flickr

Image1432 064 2018_11_14 P1560759_PLab SP7 LR 1400h by gardenersassistant, on Flickr

Image1432 116 2018_11_14 P1570019_PLab SP7 LR 1400h by gardenersassistant, on Flickr

Image1432 142 2018_11_14 P1570241_PLab SP7 LR 1400h by gardenersassistant, on Flickr
Nick

https://www.flickr.com/photos/gardeners ... ollections

Rework and reposts of my images posted in this forum are always welcome, especially if they come with an explanation of what you did and how you did it.

Troels
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Post by Troels »

Very impressive.
I enjoyed your Flickr collection.
Troels Holm, biologist (retired), environmentalist, amateur photographer.
Visit my Flickr albums

gardenersassistant
Posts: 133
Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 5:21 am
Location: North Somerset, England

Post by gardenersassistant »

Troels wrote:Very impressive.
I enjoyed your Flickr collection.
Thanks. It was an unusually productive session. On the other two days combined I only kept a quarter of the number I kept for this session.
Nick

https://www.flickr.com/photos/gardeners ... ollections

Rework and reposts of my images posted in this forum are always welcome, especially if they come with an explanation of what you did and how you did it.

ChrisR
Site Admin
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Location: Near London, UK

Post by ChrisR »

Very nice set :).
Anyone know what the flies are?
GA - which bits of DXO PhotoLab, Silkypix and Lightroom do you particularly use?
Did Silkypix come with the camera?
Chris R

NikonUser
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Location: southern New Brunswick, Canada

Post by NikonUser »

possibly Fam: Calliphoridae for the black guys
Eristalis pertinax for the syrphids
NU.
student of entomology
Quote – Holmes on ‘Entomology’
” I suppose you are an entomologist ? “
” Not quite so ambitious as that, sir. I should like to put my eyes on the individual entitled to that name.
No man can be truly called an entomologist,
sir; the subject is too vast for any single human intelligence to grasp.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr
The Poet at the Breakfast Table.

Nikon camera, lenses and objectives
Olympus microscope and objectives

gardenersassistant
Posts: 133
Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 5:21 am
Location: North Somerset, England

Post by gardenersassistant »

ChrisR wrote:Very nice set :).
Anyone know what the flies are?
Not me. Just for the record, I can't identify/name things; people, plants, animals, football teams, actors in movies, royal family - you name it, I can't.:)
I have seriously faulty memory retention and recall. Been like it all my life. A real nuisance.
ChrisR wrote:GA - which bits of DXO PhotoLab, Silkypix and Lightroom do you particularly use?
Did Silkypix come with the camera?
This is for invertbrates, I use a different approach with other subjects, generally missing out Silkypix. For botanical stacks Helicon Focus gets first go, and then TIFF straight into Lightroom.

So, for invertebrates....

I use PhotoLab primarily for PRIME noise reduction to give me a decent substrate to work on that can bear some heavy manipulation. I am generally starting out with raw files from a small sensor camera that is very noisy, noisy even at base ISO sometimes (It's ISO 100 seems similar to ISO 800 on m43 in my experience, and presumably therefore to ISO 3200 on FF).

In addition to PRIME I use Smart Lighting, Clearview, Microcontrast enhancement, Vignetting correction, Lens sharpness, Chromatic aberration correction. I have Distortion correction off for my 1/2.3" cameras because PhotoLab produces results that I find unhelpful, but on for other cameras.

I have ISO-specific presets for each sensor size. The only difference between them is the parameter used for Luminance noise reduction - increasing with ISO for a particular sensor size, and different ranges for different sensor sizes. I think I read that DXO say that ISO is already taken into account, but I've found that for what I'm doing I need to increase the luminance parameter as the ISO goes up.

Before this (and relevant for the ISO-specific element of the PhotoLab processing), as a first step I use FastPictureViewer for an initial cull. This is done at a rate of 1 to 2 seconds per image (I am typically dealing with 500 or more from a session, sometimes rather more). I am looking at reasons to reject such as out of focus or range of focus wrong, unusable composition etc. Obvious stuff. If I don't immediately see a cause to reject I press the "mark" button that I keep a left hand finger on, a right hand finger being on the forward arrow key. My eyes don't move from the screen. I know that for example Fast Raw Viewer would give me lots more information, but all I need is something very fast and the embedded JPEGs are ok for my decision-making at this stage. When I've gone through them all I then use a macro that I wrote in Fast Picture Viewer which moves all the marked files into ISO-range folders (100-160, 200-320 etc). This makes applying the ISO-specific presets in PhotoLab a trivial task.

I export DNG from PhotoLab, and when they are done I put them all into a single folder. I then apply a single, completely generic, preset in Silkypix (which might have come with the camera, but I have the paid for Developer Pro version). This does two things. It pulls the highlights right down while parameterised to prioritise colour retention. It also does some additional sharpening. This is to help bring out fine detail (which of course is sadly lacking in my captured files because I use detail crushing minimum apertures). This sharpening has the unfortunate effect of sometimes producing a crystalline-looking very fine structure to plain areas in the image, but at the output size I use this isn't visible (to me at least) unless I crop a lot (see below).

I export TIFF files from Silkypix and pick them up in Lightroom. I then apply Lightroom's Auto Tone function. I know this has a bad press in some quarters, but I think the most recent version of it does a lot more good than harm for my purposes, and generally all I have to do is to turn the lightness (what Lightroom somewhat misleadingly calls "Exposure") down a bit, and maybe some other minor tweaks (for the posted ones here I pulled the Whites down as well in quite a lot of them because of issues with the light fatsia ?> anthers. I generally add a bit of Clarity and Dehaze to all of the images at this stage (Auto Tone doesn't touch either of these) and work out the parameters for a bit more (yes, even more) sharpening, with a pretty large mask parameter.

Up until this stage the process has taken remarkably little of my time. The PC may have spent a long time chewing over the PhotoLab processing. That can take hours because there can still be a large number of images involved, most of which won't get used. However, that doesn't matter to me; I can be doing other things while the processing is going on. PhotoLab is pretty well behaved and I can use my PC as usual while the processing is going on, but I have a second (bit slower) PC and I sometimes use that for the PhotoLab processing if I want to do compute-intensive stuff on my main PC, such as playing a game.

Now comes the image-specific stuff. This is a combination of processing and selection. By this stage the images are processed to the point where I can easily see whether they are basically ok from the image quality point of view. It is then a matter of which ones to use and finishing them off with cropping and any adjustments, local or global. Sometimes where I have a group of similar images, which was very much the case with these, I will do group editing where I make adjustments to one and then select some others and apply the same adjustments to them in a single move.

Sometimes, especially with heavy cropping, the images will be looking a bit rough in the plain areas. (This is sometimes quite heavy cropping of a 1/2.3" sensor image that may have had shadows raised quite a bit.) If so I'll use a very strong noise reduction technique where I apply Lightrooom full strength luminance noise reduction to the whole image, and it really is very strong, too strong sometimes and I turn it down a bit to leave a bit of "subliminal grain". I then use local painting on the subject and other relevant areas with inverse noise reduction applied (mainly) at full strength, which removes all the noise reduction. I use a combination of smart and dumb operation of the brush in both add and remove mode, together with a visible mask, to make this process quick while also getting sufficiently accurate placement for my purposes. I may also use this in combination with a colour or luminance range mask.

I then export to 1400 pixels high JPEGs, which I review in XnView to look at image quality, rejecting or taking back for further adjustment where appropriate. Once happy with the image quality I use Faststone to put the images in an order that makes for a (to my eye) decent (or at least not too jarring) sequence should anyone want to set them going as a slide show in Flickr. More drop out at that stage because they are too similar to another one.

It sounds very long-winded, but in fact it is pretty fast. For example for the set from which the posted ones were drawn I had something over 900 raw files. After the initial cull I processed several hundred of them in the evening. The next day I did all the processing (and some gardening, shopping and other stuff too) and ended up with 168 in the Flickr album. (I know, lots of similar ones, but why not?) (At approaching 20% this was a much higher retention rate than usual. It is usually in the region of 3 to 10% or so. Considering how much the wasps and flies were darting around I was quite surprised. I think reliable, non-hunting and accurately placeable autofocus really does help with this sort of thing.)
Last edited by gardenersassistant on Sun Jan 27, 2019 9:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
Nick

https://www.flickr.com/photos/gardeners ... ollections

Rework and reposts of my images posted in this forum are always welcome, especially if they come with an explanation of what you did and how you did it.

ChrisR
Site Admin
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Location: Near London, UK

Post by ChrisR »

Oh that. Thanks.


:lol:

Well I guessed you'd probably done quite a lot. I don't think I'd have the patience, but it's working. They don't look to me as though they're "over processed" with too-good-to-be-true qualities, which we do see sometimes.
Chris R

gardenersassistant
Posts: 133
Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 5:21 am
Location: North Somerset, England

Post by gardenersassistant »

ChrisR wrote:Oh that. Thanks.


:lol:

Well I guessed you'd probably done quite a lot. I don't think I'd have the patience,
I think it looks pretty complicated when you see it written down, but in terms of carrying it out it's a lot faster than you might imagine.
ChrisR wrote: but it's working. They don't look to me as though they're "over processed" with too-good-to-be-true qualities, which we do see sometimes.
Thanks for the feedback on the results of the processing. That is very useful.
Nick

https://www.flickr.com/photos/gardeners ... ollections

Rework and reposts of my images posted in this forum are always welcome, especially if they come with an explanation of what you did and how you did it.

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