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  #197 Macros Revisited
Entry 3 of 32
The pen is mightier than the sword       ©2018 A.N.Other
Fujifilm FinePix S100FS       3rd place, 161 points
1/9s, f5.3, ISO 100, 851mm, Aperture Priority, Pattern, no flash
Post-Processing: Stacked together with Zerene Stacker
Burn and dodge
Noise reduction
Sharpen and blur
Spot removal tool
Reduced saturation
      Extra Info: This is a focus stack of 35 photos each taken 25 microns apart.

I have always wanted to do a 'ball point pen' shot, so a big thank you to Panachallenge for giving me the incentive to finally give it a go.

I photographed three versions - Close, Closer and Closest. This is the 'Closer' version.
20 comments on this entry
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Mar 14, 2018
    Congrats, this is probably the only true macro entry!

Mar 13, 2018
    Hard to believe this isn't the closest version! Congrats!

(I thought the little men in the flowers were your entries!)

Mar 13, 2018
    I loved it. Great effort and it was worth it.

Mar 13, 2018
    Really interesting look at an everyday object. Well done!

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Mar 13, 2018
    Thank you all for the kind comments :-) .

Qixil - I did have a bit of trouble with lighting the shiny metal surface while avoiding blown areas. Sorry it's not interesting enough but at least it's not a flower! ;-) .

Elyod - Your wish is my command :-) . Full frame SOOC or cropped to size etc? I was actually surprised it only took 35 photos. I was expecting around 50.

davemisunas - The bottom of the ball does have a 'sky' look to it but its just the reflection of the polystyrene pieces I used to rest the lens on against a blotchy ink area of the ball. Damn, I just realised that I forgot to weigh down the lens, so I should have got a sharper result :-( . I knew there was something wrong!

wrosenthal - Sorry I didn't say too much about how I took it as I didn't want to make it obvious that it was me as I used a very similar set up to other entries I've entered and described before. I worried that I gave a bit too much away as it was. I will show you more info on the setup I used in the outtakes thread. It might take a day or so so please keep watching.
Edited on Mar 13, 2018

Mar 13, 2018
    Clever. A bit dark and not interesting enough for me.

Mar 13, 2018
    That's an awful lot of stacking. I'd be interested to see a single shot in the outtakes.

Mar 12, 2018
    Excellent... truly a macro and in focus with good lighting and composition, by the reflection in the ball it appears it was taken outside. my top pick.

Mar 12, 2018
    I like this a lot. Would love a more detailed explanation of the process--25 microns apart?

Mar 12, 2018
    Thank you for the great comments :-) . I was kind of aiming for the 'eye' look when deciding the crop.
Edited on Mar 13, 2018

Mar 12, 2018
    Wow, now this is true macro! I've always wanted to try stacking. Very impressive. Reminds me of an eyeball of some monster

Mar 12, 2018
    Well done! At first I thought it was an eye from some type of creature. What a great idea. The detail is remarkable. Perfect for the challenge.

Mar 11, 2018
    Thank you ever so much for the lovely comments :-)

aoc46 - please see my reply to jomari below about the scratches.
Edited on Mar 13, 2018

Mar 11, 2018
    Like the lighting and originality. How does a pen tip get that scratched up - do you write mostly on concrete?

Mar 11, 2018
    Well, I'm glad you had the patience to do it, because it's a fascinating shot. The detail and colour is wonderful.

Mar 9, 2018
    Very interesting to see up close. I love all those scratches contrasting with the deep blue ink.

Mar 9, 2018
    I chose this pen as I've had it for about 25+ years. It is a really cheap free NHS works pen that has a 'soft' metal tip giving it all the characterful scratches. I could have gone for a modern new pen but feel it would have been boring.
Edited on Mar 13, 2018

Mar 9, 2018
    That is certainly the most macro entry in the challenge. At that magnification the pen looks so rough! I bet just to look at it normally it seems smooth. Well done. High in my faves.

Mar 9, 2018
    Thanks very much Elliott :-)

I use the best stacking programe there is - Zerene Stacker. Very easy to use, fast and effective. The chap who wrote it is really helpful and friendly too.


If you try the 30 day free trial I'd be happy to help you out if you get stuck.
Edited on Mar 13, 2018

Mar 8, 2018
    great effort put into this and it paid off. high in my favorites. what stacking program are you using.
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By A.N.Other


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