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Underneath the surface of the ocean, a rarely seen world exists. This colorful, hypnotic underwater world of corals, sponges and other aquatic life can only be seen under high magnification and in time-lapse due to the slow process that is naked to the human eye.
In ‘Slow Life,’ photographer Daniel Stoupin brings us a mesmerizing look at the secret lives of these beautiful creatures. Painstakingly using focus stacking, the 3 and a half minute video uses 150,000 22-megapixel RAW images to give us in crystal clear detail. Shot in 4K resolution, each frame is a stack of 3-12 image to give us the shallow depth of field required for macro photography. One frame took ten minutes of processing time, which included the raw conversion and stacking. After three weeks of continuous processing, unsurprisingly, his laptop died.
To make this little clip I took 150000 shots. Why so many? Because macro photography involves shallow depth of field. To extend it, I used focus stacking. Each frame of the video is actually a stack that consists of 3-12 shots where in-focus areas are merged. Just the intro and last scene are regular real-time footage. One frame required about 10 minutes of processing time (raw conversion + stacking). Unfortunately, the success rate was very low due to copious technical challenges and I spent almost 9 long months just to learn how to make these kinds of videos and understand how to work with these delicate creatures.