Briefly noted: I shot this succulent in the gardens at Esalen using my 85mm Nikon PC-E Micro-Nikkor f/2.8D tilt-shift macro lens. A tilt-shift lens helps correct lines of perspective when they might otherwise be distorted, and operates kind of like a view camera “lite.” In other words, the tilt-shift lens has some of the side-to-side and up-and-down movement of the bellows in a view camera, but not quite the full range of movement.
The tilt-shift capability is most often used in architectural photography, but I enjoy using it for macro photography as well. You can think of this capability as a non-virtual version of post-production warping.
To make this image, I took five exposures at a shutter speed range from 1/8 of a second to 2.5 seconds. My camera was tripod mounted. Each exposure was shot at ISO 200 and an effective aperture of f/64.
I combined the five exposures using Nik Merge to HDR Efex Pro and hand-layering (hand-HDR) in Photoshop. The monochromatic conversion was accomplished by using several Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 presets in combination.