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On "Nature" Service

Discussion in 'Macro, Flowers, Insects, and Greenery' started by nfoto, Sep 15, 2005.

  1. nfoto

    nfoto Guest

    The flowers of Mirabilis jalapa ("Four O'clock") have pollen with beautiful UV fluorescence. The image below (4X magnification) was shot for "Nature",

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    (Nikon D2X, Nikon Multiphot, Macro-Nikkor 65 mm f/4.5, Sylvania Blacklight, 31.6 sec exposure at f/6.3 @100 ISO)
  2. Very fresh and interesting approach to macro, I like it.

    Did you use any sort of illumination to bring out the fluorescent effect, or does the pollens just glow in the dark?

  3. nfoto

    nfoto Guest

    Light source, as noted in the post, is a "blacklight". This emits UV and enables UV fluorescence.
  4. Wow, very nice. Have always wondered how to capture a UV shot, looks like you had to go pretty long on the exposure. Great fluorescence capture.
  5. nfoto

    nfoto Guest

    This is not UV, but UV fluorescence and as such it is in the visible range. UV light makes the pollen fluoresce, but is itself not recorded directly.

    Fluorescence exposures tend to be long. The emitted light level is quite low and the shot is done with all other light sources eliminated, i.e. in total darkness except for the blacklight of course. A sharp-cutting UV filter is used over the lens to absorb UV.
  6. hawkbug

    hawkbug Guest

    What a beautiful effect. Very nice!

  7. Well Bjørn, you have this rare gift of being an expert both in your scientific field and in photography. I have met many excellent scientists who had no clue how to use a camera and also good photogs who were not able to properly capture a scientific item so that it conveys what it should.

    BTW - is this published already? I read Nature at regular intervals but cannot remember having seen this pic.

  8. nfoto

    nfoto Guest

    I just got the request from "Nature" and they haven't decided yet to run the story in which this image is to be used. Anyway, I was pleased just to be asked, not an everyday's occurrence :smile:
  9. Very neat Bjorn and congratulations on being asked to do this shot.
  10. This opens a new range of ideas. After IR, I might be tempted to explore this.
    Exposure is, I guess, a matter of trials and errors ?
    As for the UV filter, is it of a special type ?
  11. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl

    That is very beautiful. Your ability and knowledge is fantastic.

    Great work.

    Hope they publish this.
  12. nfoto

    nfoto Guest

    With a DSLR, you just keep on doubling the exposure time until you get a good exposure, or the subject is withered beyond any hope of revival :smile:

    The UV filter needs to be effective in the UV band, so a pale yellow filter is suitable (it will attenuate the very deepest purple and blue, but that's the price to pay for getting nice UV fluorescence).

    Be warned that blacklight may be harmful to the eyes if you work in subdued light with the blacklight switched on (might result in snow blindness over time). Wearing protective goggles to reduce the risk of eye irritation is highly recommended.
  13. All your pictures are really stunning, lot of imagination on your part.
  14. Fantastic picture, Bjorn. You're always an inspiration for exploring new «dimensions» of photography.
  15. Excellent. The use of the black light is "brilliant"
  16. Very beautiful and interesting shot Bjorn. It would be interesting to know what evolutionary advantage is involved in having the pollen grains fluoresce like that.
  17. nfoto

    nfoto Guest

    Really don't know except for there must be something going on here. Quite a lot of flowers I've done have exhibited UV fluorescence of pollen, stigmas, or nectaria, see the examples here

    Wood Angelica (Angelica sylvestris)

    Ground Ivy (Glechoma hederacea)
  18. patrickh


    May 4, 2005
    Thousand Oaks
    Amazing - thank you

    Every post another lesson. Thank you.
  19. Well, it sure has to do with the fact that insects (pollinators) perceive light in a different range of wave length. They are able to see this stuff without additional UV filters, they are, so to say, included in the facette package :smile:
    BTW - two more intriguing shots.
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