Maple Terminal Bud

This is the terminal bud from one of the red-leaf maples in the front yard. I picked a few things to image one afternoon, and this one sat for a few days and partially opened up. The color is striking, not woody at all, and that was true of the young bark on the tree as well.

I previously shot an apple-tree terminal bud, and found it covered thickly with fine hairs. There are a few of those around the base, but mostly the leaves of this bud are free of them.

Technical stuff: I shot this twice as an experiment: once with 50-micron steps, and once with 100-micron steps. I also used a one-stop difference in exposure between the two, with the longer steps brighter (longer exposure times).

The test was to see just how large the depth of field is. I think it’s probably a little smaller than 100 microns, but not by much, as the image was overall fine. But the 50-micron steps made a better image in a few ways: the shorter exposure yielded a more dramatic overall result, the shorter exposure brought out more detail in the very brightest portions of the subject, and there was better contrast between in-focus and out-of-focus areas, which made image development easier.

I forgot I was taking the longer sequence of 50-micron steps, and twice (!) walked into the room where the images were being taken automatically with the StackShot. This resulted in some bad frames, and I had to paste in some frames from the 100-micron sequence to fix it. I had to darken those pasted-in frames by one stop to get them to match, of course. It call came out fine.