Someone kindly suggested on my last shot that another fly looking across might be interesting... so I gave it a shot. It certainly works for me =). Thank you Gary! And, credit where credit is due: I really liked this shot by Jemenu
so wanted to have a play too! So this is, I think, a pair of greenbottles (not bluebottles, I promise you they look green compared to the bluebottle I compared them to at the time!), they're rather mundane creatures but not without a certain aesthetic appeal when you look at them like this. A blue background: a different blue to last time which is gradiented towards purple. I wanted a bit more vibrancy and I think this gave it to me!
Posing this wasn't easy. I used the Watkins & Doncaster Insect Examination Stage with some cork cut out in a 2 cm by 1/2 cm by 1/2 cm strip mounted at the tip. Then I cut a groove into the cork for each mounted insect according to the angle which I needed for the shot. Each of these insects were mounted on a thick black ent pin. Then I fiddled, swore and cursed for 30 mins to get them parallel and in the positions I wanted, cutting off the end of the pins that went beyond the cork so that it could all fit into the chip cone diffuser
. These chip cones are handy because they're shaped so that they diverge so allow relatively big things inside the diffuser (mine just sits on the end of the lens with a custom reverse lenscap made from a black party popper) but they're also the right shape so that there's stilll enough omnidirectional light of a similar intensity (because of similar distances, not quite a perfect hemisphere but better than other things I tried). With close flashes I get away with 1/32 and 1/64.
Technical: Gradient in CS4 piped into SmallHD using HDMI matrix used as ambient lighting for the background; strobing has rear curtain sync. 1s exposures; 121 photos into 34 sub stacks, retouched from Dmap composite, finished off with CS4 & Topaz Detail. Step size of 30µm, polystyrene chip cone diffuser. Cropped then resized 10% to lessen noise. Componon 35 f/4 reversed on flat bellows so about 1:1 ish; 2 Pentax 540& 1 Pentax 360 off camera flashes triggered wirelessly by Metz 58 II cam-connected controller; all manual trailing synch to eliminate flash ghosting, strobes manual at @1/32; perpendicular to flys at @2,6.30 &10 o'clock.Looks nice on black! www.flickr.com/photos/jingleslenobel/7191333770/lightbox/
Link to full size image: farm9.staticflickr.com/8158/7191333770_da753c467e_o.jpgMore extreme macro shots here