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Stages of an Oxeye Sunflower

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This summer I did a lot of macro photography of flowers that Beverly grew in our garden and around our house. She coined the phrase “I grow-em, you show-em” to reflect this activity. (Please see the Definitions & Apps page for an explanation of Macro Photography.)

The first post in this group tracks the stages of a yellow/orange flower, from a bud to the final form. We believe this plant is an oxeye sunflower, also known as smooth oxeye, false sunflower, or ox-eye daisy. If so, it is Heliopsis helianthoides of the Family: Asteraceae.

The gallery in the Additional Images sections below shows nine stages of the flower development with close-up photos of the center of the flower for each stage. These images were taken of different flowers at different times, not in any particular order, but the order in the gallery was selected to show the flower’s development process.

All images were photographed with a Sigma 105mm f/2.8 Macro lens and the close-up images of the centers of the flowers were mostly taken with the Sigma Macro lens, a Sigma 1.4x Teleconverter, and a 68mm extension tube set, which results in a 215mm lens equivalent. The closest distance from the subject to the camera sensor was about 16″.

One issue I faced with taking these close-up images was the very shallow depth of field (1/16″ at f/11). To successfully take these images required using a macro focus rail to move the focus point across the subject. All of the images are multiple exposures combined by focus stacking in Helicon Focus, and range from five to 19 separate images. The Technical Information section below indicates how many images are stacked to form each final image. (For more information about these topics please see the Cameras, Lenses, and Equipment and Definitions & Apps pages.)

Additional Information

Missouri Botanical Garden: Heliopsis helianthoides

Additional Images

Technical Data

Opening Stage 1 – Bud

  • Date: 8/30/2021
  • Time: 2:05 PM
  • Camera: Canon EOS  77D
  • Lens: Sigma 105mm f/2.8 Macro, Sigma 1.4x Teleconverter, 68mm Extension Tube
  • Settings:
    • Lens: 215 mm, f/11
    • ISO: 200
    • Shutter: ⅛ sec
  • Uncropped image is 6000 x 4000 px
  • Made from 10 stacked images

Opening Stage 3

  • Date: 8/30/2021
  • Time: 1:04 PM
  • Camera: Canon EOS  77D
  • Lens: Sigma 105mm f/2.8 Macro, Sigma 1.4x Teleconverter, 68mm Extension Tube
  • Settings:
    • Lens: 215 mm, f/11
    • ISO: 400
    • Shutter: 1/13 sec
  • Uncropped image is 6000 x 4000 px
  • Made from 8 stacked images

Opening Stage 5 – Full Flower

  • Date: 9/7/2021
  • Time: 1:23 PM
  • Camera: Canon EOS  77D
  • Lens: Sigma 105mm f/2.8 Macro, Sigma 1.4x Teleconverter
  • Settings:
    • Lens: 147 mm, f/11
    • ISO: 200
    • Shutter: 1/25 sec
  • Uncropped image is 5976 x 4000 px
  • Made from 7 stacked images

Opening Stage 6

  • Date: 8/25/2021
  • Time: 10:45 AM
  • Camera: Canon EOS  77D
  • Lens: Sigma 105mm f/2.8 Macro, Sigma 1.4x Teleconverter, 68mm Extension Tube
  • Settings:
    • Lens: 215 mm, f/11
    • ISO: 200
    • Shutter: ⅛ sec
  • Uncropped image is 6000 x 4000 px
  • Made from 13 stacked images

Opening Stage 8 – Full Flower

  • Date: 8/22/2021
  • Time: 6:00 PM
  • Camera: Canon EOS  77D
  • Lens: Sigma 105mm f/2.8 Macro
  • Settings:
    • Lens: 105 mm, f/11
    • ISO: 200
    • Shutter: 1/40 sec
  • Cropped image is 5016 x 3344 px
  • Made from 5 stacked images

Final Flower Stage 9

  • Date: 8/24/2021
  • Time: 10:26 AM
  • Camera: Canon EOS  77D
  • Lens: Sigma 105mm f/2.8 Macro, Sigma 1.4x Teleconverter, 68mm Extension Tube
  • Settings:
    • Lens: 215 mm, f/11
    • ISO: 200
    • Shutter: 1/6 sec
  • Cropped image is 5309 x 3539 px
  • Made from 19 stacked images

Opening Stage 2

  • Date: 8/28/2021
  • Time: 5:33 PM
  • Camera: Canon EOS  77D
  • Lens: Sigma 105mm f/2.8 Macro, Sigma 1.4x Teleconverter, 68mm Extension Tube
  • Settings:
    • Lens: 215 mm, f/11
    • ISO: 200
    • Shutter: ⅛ sec
  • Cropped image is 5396 x 3730 px
  • Made from 19 stacked images

Opening Stage 4

  • Date: 9/2/2021
  • Time: 5:37 PM
  • Camera: Canon EOS  77D
  • Lens: Sigma 105mm f/2.8 Macro, Sigma 1.4x Teleconverter, 68mm Extension Tube
  • Settings:
    • Lens: 215 mm, f/11
    • ISO: 400
    • Shutter: 1/55 sec
  • Uncropped image is 6000 x 3658 px
  • Made from 16 stacked images

Opening Stage 5

  • Date: 9/7/2021
  • Time: 1:38 PM
  • Camera: Canon EOS  77D
  • Lens: Sigma 105mm f/2.8 Macro, Sigma 1.4x Teleconverter, 68mm Extension Tube
  • Settings:
    • Lens: 215 mm, f/11
    • ISO: 200
    • Shutter: 1/6 sec
  • Uncropped image is 6000 x 3998 px
  • Made from 8 stacked images

Opening Stage 7

  • Date: 8:25/2021
  • Time: 11:54 AM
  • Camera: Canon EOS  77D
  • Lens: Sigma 105mm f/2.8 Macro, Sigma 1.4x Teleconverter, 68mm Extension Tube
  • Settings:
    • Lens: 215 mm, f/11
    • ISO: 200
    • Shutter: 1/6 sec
  • Uncropped image is 6000 x 4000 px
  • Made from 18 stacked images

Opening Stage 8

  • Date: 8/22/2021
  • Time: 5:45 PM
  • Camera: Canon EOS  77D
  • Lens: Sigma 105mm f/2.8 Macro, Sigma 1.4x Teleconverter, 68mm Extension Tube
  • Settings:
    • Lens: 215 mm, f/11
    • ISO: 200
    • Shutter: ⅛ sec
  • Uncropped image is 6000 x 4000 px
  • Made from 6 stacked images

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