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The Hostas, by Bob Venezia

We asked Bob Venezia to share some details of how he created the hosta photos he showed at the June 2013 meeting.

As many of you know, my W3 is normally attached to my Cyclopital macro adapter. The adapter with the camera is a really fine combination and opens the door to new possibilities. Besides reducing the interocular spacing the adapter provides a hot shoe, opening the door to off-camera flash. And I love the off-camera flash!

I have a number of slave-able flashes and I was playing in the garden to see what effects I might get from backlighting leaves. The results from the hosta took me totally by surprise (the lesson here is that it’s important to play). The backlighting of the leaves was cool but what amazed me was the depth and texture that was revealed by the close-up 3D.

One of our hostas
One of our hostas as is.

When I shoot close up 3D in the garden I often bring a tripod, a couple of light stands, and a bagful of flashes. I stick a long dowel through the umbrella holder of one light stand and use this to drape some black velvet so I can limit my background. But for the hostas I dispensed with the velvet and filled my frame with layered leaves.

Camera on tripod
The camera on a tripod aimed low at the hosta.

An adapter on the hot shoe is used to connect a flash on a cord.
close up of hot shoe
Hot shoe with adapter and cord

using a leaf as a flash diffuser
Improvised light modifier!

The picture I showed at the meeting looked pretty good right out of the camera. Here it is trimmed for the stereo window.

stereo of hosta in color

To do the Black and White conversion I played with the Photoshop function Image→Calculations.


(In this case I’m working on a flattened layer with both left and right images on the same layer.)

The Calculations dialog is set like this for the current image:


I chose the Green channel for a couple of reasons. This being a predominantly Green image the Green Channel was the brightest. And the Green channel Often has the best quality information in it.

I set the Result to be a New Document. Note that it will be created in the Multichannel format.

To get it back to RGB, choose ImageModeGrayscale, and then ImageModeRGB.

Now to go a little more crazy, I might duplicate the layer several times and experiment with filters, blend modes, and opacity.

And if you have the Topaz filters, you could use them to create an effect like this:

stereo of the hostas, with Topaz filters applied

And it’s just that easy!

By |August 10th, 2013|3D Education|Comments Off on The Hostas, by Bob Venezia