After 127 shots of this fern “branch”, I finally captured what I was looking for.
I was working with a breaze which made it exceptionally difficult to get a clear macro shot of this small fern. The reason is that I was working within a very close range with a 60mm macro lens. (I took the picture 4 months ago, but based on my memory the lens was probably ~4inches away from the subject.)
This means that the depth of field is so exceptionally shallow that you have to hop the ƒ stops up just to get the bend of the tiny leaves in focus. As you can tell in this photo, I had to go up to ƒ/14. In turn, this means that I had to make up for it in either shutter speed and/or ISO. Since I don’t want to have anything higher than 400 as my ISO, I kept taking shots at exposure rates that would make even the tiniest of gusts of wind blur the furn. Thus, I took 127 shots hoping that at one of those instants the wind didn’t gust the fern.
I think that this one optimized the depth of field, kept the noise to a minimum, and still allowed me to get a nice crisp focus.