Backlighting with Flash

Something I’ve been meaning to try for a while – and this morning whilst out for a walk I picked up a Sycamore seed ( there’s probably a proper name for this. Oh well! ).
Anyway, it lead me to this …

Backlit Fruit-4Backlit Fruit-3Backlit Fruit-2Backlit Fruit-1

Strawberry, Kiwi Fruit, Grape … and the Sycamore Seed. All taken on perspex backlit with a single flash – and captured on the Nikon D800 with a 60mm macro lens.

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Poppy Seed Head

I’m trying to get to grips with the detail of Macro photography.
This was taken on the Nikon D800 with a 50mm prime lens reversed onto the camera ( using a suitable lens reversing ring ). This gives almost a 1:1 magnification : that is, the size of the image as it falls on the sensor is the same as the size of the object in real life.
From what I have read, that is the definition of true Macro photography. Of course, the magnification can – and does – get greater. but we have to start somewhere. 🙂

The shot was lit with a single Nikon strobe turned down to 1/8 power and fired through two layers of tracing paper to soften the light.
A polystyrene sheet to the right acted as a reflector to soften some of the shadows.

The depth of focus is not great – it’s certainly not sharp all the way through the image. It needs a dose of focus stacking. Maybe next time.

Moth Focus Stacking

More examples of Moth images taken using focus stacking.
Unfortunately I have no idea what these two moths are – so no names. ( Can anyone help? )
The one against the deeper black background was taken on the D800 with a 105mm macro lens, taking 8 slices combined in Photoshop CS5 and finished in Lightroom 5.
The other image ( same camera and lens ) was 19 slices with the same post-production in CS5 and LR5.

Click on the images for a closer look!!

It may be of interest to some that I have signed up to the new Adobe Cloud idea – LR5 and the new Photoshop CC for just under £8 a month – until it renews, that is!
BUT … I could not get the Photomerge utility in Photoshop CC ( the bit that masks out the out of focus part of each layer and combines what is left into a single in-focus layer ) ito work on these images.
I had to go back to my old copy of CS5 to create these images. So something is not working properly here in CC!

UPDATE

Thanks to help from Peter Warne of Copped Hall fame ( well, he’s famous to me! ) the first of these critters is identified as a male Orange Swift moth! Thanks Peter 🙂