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Posts Tagged ‘focus stacking’

More CombineZP

Heterospilus sp., undescribed species, Costa Rica
click to view the original image

I’ve been playing around a bit more with the freeware program CombineZP, and I thought I’d share this image of one of the wasps I’m working on in my current position.  The image is a composite from 14 photos taken through a microscope at different focal depths.

The parasitic wasp genus Heterospilus is common and hyperdiverse in the new world tropics.  It is also almost entirely unstudied.  Our project is restricted to the taxonomy of the Costa Rican fauna, and we have about 500 new species just from that small country.   The diversity is insane- I’m not sure how we’re going to come up with names for all of them.

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Pogonomyrmex micans, stack of 23 images using CombineZP. Click for large file.

I don’t ordinarily do product endorsements on the blog, but here’s one: the image-stacking software CombineZP. I recommend it for two reasons.  First, CombineZP produces smoother, more artifact-free images than the very expensive competition.  Second, CombineZP is freeware.  Alan Hadley, a British arthropod enthusiast, wrote it in his spare time.

Good.  And free.  Not much to argue with there.

CombineZP and similar products are designed to counter a major challenge of macrophotography, the narrow depth of field at high magnification.  (more…)

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