Most frequently macro photographers have learned to align the long dimension of the subject with the long dimension of the image frame and to move in as close as possible to get a frame filling composition. In macro imaging that means the magnification ratio of the resulting image is limited by the maximum angle of view of the lens used.
Today, with the advent of digital imaging, a method has been devised to increase magnification by turning the camera axis with the long dimension across the subject long dimension centerline. Then, a series of overlapping images can be made and stitched together seamlessly in the computer, increasing the magnification by a factor equal to the aspect ratio of the camera sensor or about 1.5 to 2.0 times (or more) the original. This will produce additional subject detail often required in macro reproductions. Multiple rows of stitched images can increase the magnification even more substantially.
Let’s look at the images below:
In image 1 above this fossil fish has been recorded at a magnification of 0.18 X in one shot with a Nikon D2Xs and a 60mm F2.8Micro Nikkor lens. In image 2 the reproduction is 0.68X using five overlapping images stitched in Photoshop CS-5. (In this blog the two images are reproduced at the same width. In actuality, the larger image is nearly twice a large.)
Image 3 illustrates the setup used. Camera is mounted on a heavy vertical stand and the specimen is on a X-Y mechanical stage as seen in detail in image 4. Lighting is with two SB-800 speedlights in Nikon Advanced Wireless i-TTL mode. Notice the master flash is connected to the camera via a dedicated SC-29 remote cord.
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