2022—Chive Talk

The chives are in full bloom. A welcome scrim of clouds diffused the harsh sun that suddenly turned our mild spring into what seemed like a hot midsummer day. The light was perfect for my plan to create a stacked image of the chive flower with the green chives creating the soft background. I took 50 images to create the final stacked image. And, I did it while hand-holding the Nikon Z9 with the Nikkor ZMC105mm lens. Phew! I sat on an outdoor ottoman and braced my arms on my knees while I faced the strawberry jar that holds the chives. However, I was really shooting blind because once I focused on the closest part of the flower and clicked “ok” to start the camera on its “focus shift shooting” assignment, the viewfinder and the screen went black until all of the images were rendered. I was outside and there was just the slightest breeze which has, in the past, always stymied any outdoor macro photography for me. And, despite bracing my arms against my knees, I was so aware that I needed to keep perfectly still that I think I willed myself to start vibrating and twitching. I should have used a tripod but that would mean going back inside, attaching a ball head to the tripod, and attaching the L-bracket to the Z9. I was afraid the beautiful light would suddenly turn harsh again if I left, even for just a few minutes. So, I persevered. I rendered the final image using Photoshop to align and blend the layers. My first focus position turned out not to be the closest petal to the camera so in the final rendition, some of the front petals are not in focus. But, still, I was pretty happy with the results and the Z9 once again came through, overcoming my introduced vibrations with its ability to reduce camera vibrations. The Z9 made it appear that I had sat perfectly still.