Foraging Bees at the Studio

I have had some of the Topaz tools for a while and used them as plugins to Photoshop etc. Now I am using the full Studio suite.

Once I have done the initial processing in Lightroom, I have started pushing the images directly to Studio to finish off the processing there.

For this series of Bee macro images, I did not use any presets, but instead worked through each of the adjustments that were relevant and tweaked each until I was happy with the results.

I hope you enjoy them, and please do feel free to give feedback (no matter how bad - I can take it!) to help me improve my techniques.

Thanks for looking!


Beautiful results …

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Awesome work …

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Very nice.

How do you obtain so much depth of field


Hi Don,

Thanks for looking and the kind comment. Appreciated.

I find that getting the best depth of field is a bit of a balancing act. I have a few Nikon cameras, but for macro my go-to one is the D7100 as it has the highest resolution in the DX range. (I have a D500, but in this case it is not as good as I need to squeeze every bit of resolution possible). I would love a DX camera with 36MP sensor. That would be great!

The lens setup for these shots was just a 90mm Tamron 1:1 macro lens (not the newest version) with a 36mm extension tube between it and camera. A Nissin ring flash for lighting. I have an old Nikon ai-s 105mm lens which I also use as it gives very good results as well and can be picked up at reasonable prices.

As you are aware, the more magnification, the less the DOF. So I try to balance between going with a longer focal distance (giving less magnification) and relying on the pixel density of the sensor to maintain the required detail that I want to extract from the final image whilst still being able to crop in quite tightly.

Added to this, I usually shoot at around an aperture of f22 which also extends the DOF. This does require a more powerful burst on the flash though (not so good if you are trying to use the flash to freeze action).

The following example is shot with the Nikon 105mm (and 36mm extension tube) at f16 on the D810, but at a much closer focal distance (hence greater magnification). You can see that the focal plane is much thinner and that the back of the fly (only millimetres behind) is already loosing focus.

Thanks again and hope that helps.


Bravo…love your results.

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Awesome captures and processing work.

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So sharp and vibrant colors.

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So fantastic :+1:t3::+1:t3:

These are lovely. Look forward to seeing more of your macro work.


Very specific details with amazing color contrast. Even the far on this bee is being seen and also can be counted as the details and clarity is that good. Portrait photos should be like this. I guess this is a macro photo and is done very well. The photo has really fine quality and awesome clarity.

Hyeah right! Feedback no matter how bad…HAH!

Are these crops? I know I am getting stunning results from crops using Topaz, ending up with gigapixel.

Awesome Macro works