3. Pleiospilos nelii
Another from my parents’, at Easter. A Southern African desert succulent; these are larger than most Lithops. They open in the afternoons for a few days in a row; this was the first opening.
Nikon D3S/200f4micro/cpl/silver reflector
Stack of 14 frames
ISO 200 1/8 f/13
Subject is probably about an inch across. Description of technique for this one: plant in 3inch square pot placed on ground; camera set vertically on tripod above subject, on focusing rack. I then calculated the distance of the depth of field I wanted for the focus distance I had using the scale on the rack. Using a depth of field chart I then chose an f/number that would give me enough depth of field per shot for a relatively short stack without too much lens diffraction, with a stacking increment so that the frames would all overlap one another – I probably chose 2mm, so a total depth of field of about 3cm front to back. I then took the 14 shots, adjusting the rack down 2mm each time. A silver reflector was resting against the front legs of the tripod throughout, to cast some light back onto the shadow areas of the plant at the bottom of the frame. One more NSN Editor’s Pick, and a favourite of mine because of the 3D-quality result, and the success of the stacking.