The entrance to the Vermeer exhibition

27 of the 37 universally recognised Vermeer paintings on display in one place, for the first time. Tickets have been impossible to get for months. Luckily, my Icom card got me in.

Stunning painting, I’d be very happy if I could take photos half as good as some of the paintings on display.

Your chances of getting in to see it are essentially zero, unless you have already got tickets, or work in a field that allows you to get an Icom card, and the door staff recognise it on the day you try to visit.

Focus Stacking

I’ve been playing on-and-off with a NSI Macro Focusing Rail, for taking extended depth of field macro photographs.

The focus rail mounts between your tripod and the camera to allow very precise movements of the camera, with the focus locked. You move the focus plane across the object bing photographed, taking multiple images, each with a narrow slice of the object in focus, these are then stacked in software to provide a greater depth of field than you could manage otherwise.

Macro Focus Merge Setup
The macro rail setup with a D7000 camera and a Sigma 50mm f/1.8 macro lens.

I’ve mostly been using the macro rail for photographs of electronics projects and devices, it being winter there are not too many insects around to image. I did find an old dead hornet, it’s visible on the white pad in the image above, to practise insect imaging.

A very dead and dried out hornet
A dead hornet imaged with a series of photographs taken at 0.25mm steps and processed in Affinity Photo

I’m not sure how well this will work with live insects, I suspect they will move long before I get even a couple of images, but it’ll be worth a try. I’m quite pleased with how the dead hornet turned out, and I think I can do better still.

A better account of a comet

Another clear night saw me trying to capture the comet again. This time with a longer lens. The comet is getting higher in the sky, and today is the closest approach to Earth (so it might be a bit brighter).

Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) (Upper right) and the star Kochab (lower left)

Still no progress on getting my telescope mount back from the repair place, so I’m limited to what I can image with a 300mm lens and a DSLR on a non-tracking tripod.