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Wingscale Photography

Discussion in 'Macro, Flowers, Insects, and Greenery' started by Bob the Spiderman, Sep 19, 2005.

  1. [​IMG]

    A number of members have expressed a wish to see my work on this project. Well here it is and we all have CHRIS 101 to thank for this. He has very very kindly accepted these images which in turn has enabled them to be be posted.

    These are just 4 images that are from a large selection that are being exhibited at the end of October at a large Entomological Fair just north of Paris.
    So what are you looking at. Well, the first 2 are butterflies and the last 2 are of a daytime flying moth from Madagascar. This moth is known by various common names but is generally acknowledged as being one of the most beautiful in the world.
    Rather that take up a lot of space in this initial post I will await any questions you may have and answer them later.

    Best wishes. Bob F.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2005
  2. These are great!

    Look like maps of some psychedelic planet. Planet Gong, perhaps?

    What lens etc were you using?
  3. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005
    Wow Bob, these are amazing. Like Jukka said, they do look like the landscape of an alien planet (I'd call it planet Bong though :rolleyes: ). I'm going to have to come back when I get home from work and look at these in more detail, but just off the cuff, they are great. At what reproduction ratio were these shot?

    A big thanks to Chris for making this happen. :biggrin:
  4. Equipment Used.

    Nikon D2H + PB6 Bellows + PK11A + 90mm Tamron Macro Di lens + Nikon SB800 Flashgun.
    Kaiser Copying Stand.

    Technical details.

    Because the lens is uncoupled then the TTL metering is not possible so everything is done by trail and error. However with digital it does not take long to find out what settings are needed.

    Fstops. F22 and F32.
    Speed. 1/250th sec.
    ISO 200
    Reproduction Ratios are 1:1 to 4:1
    SB800. Settings. ISO 200. Manual Mode @1/16th power. Attached to camera via SC 28 TTL remote cord.

    BW. Bob F.
  5. OK. I have a few minutes to spare before I start to hoovering the home prior to Pam's return from Mallorca tomorrow, so a bit of a lecture coming up.

    The scales you are seeing are actually modified hairs. They help to strengthen the wings as they are rigid and overlap to form a protective coating to the wing membrane. I think they look like tiles on a roof.
    Each scale is attached to the membrane by a miniscule ball and socket joint, and as they develop they stretch-flatten and differentiate.
    Colours. These are made by Pigment.-Yellow. Whitw.Brown.Black and Red.
    By Structural means from ridges which act as prisms that refract light and give colours like Blue.Green.Gold and Silver.
    By a combination of the above. Copper for instance that is made up of a Red Pigment and clear refracting light.

    What you are seeing here is a combination of all the above, plus some more beautiful colours.

    Well, I hope that was not TOO boring, but I do know that some of you out there enjoy learning something about what you see on this forum.

    Best wishes. Bob F.
  6. Hi Bob!

    This close-up view really opens up a new world. Particularly the birdwings have colors which are hard to find anywhere else in the lepidoptera world (same goes for Morphos probably).

    Can you tell me why you chose such small apertures? I guess you took the pics straight from above the wing plane so a somewhat wider aperture might have been sufficient. I just ask because at F32 diffraction might already raise its ugly head.

    Also, have you tried filtering the flash through a diffusion foil or the like. Especially metallic colors gain a lot by this and also you might achieve a more 3-dimensional look.

    But all in all, well done.

  7. As I have not done 'Set Specimens' before then I am learning as I go along.

    Used F22 and F32 more maxium depth of field. I certainly like the idea of a diffuser as this will soften the image. Will try that on Urania riphaeus when next I try it. I have now to do a whole load of Papilios and if time allows then I will try this on them.

    Thanks for suggestion. Bob F.
  8. As you said - it's easy in digital to make quick adjustments. I am sure you don't need so much DOF. Just make a series of test shots. Start with F8 and see what you get. Then stop down continuously. I think F22 should be the limit. The Tamron 90 is an excellent lens but I'm sure F32 is already beyond its peak performance.
    Have you tethered your camera to the computer? That's the best way to quickly check full-sized pics.

    Do you still have contacts to the film people you worked with? Those diffusers they use for film lights are excellent, especially since they are made for this purpose and don't cause any color casts. And, you may cut them down to any size and shape you want.

  9. I wondered about that with F32 on this lens. I will give this increasing the Fstop by increments a go.
    Unfortunately my cord from camera to computer is a bit too short for what you suggest. I am just looking at the images on the LCD.
    I will have a word with OSF re reflectors.

    As they say, 'practice makes perfect.'

    Bw. Bob F.
  10. Bob these are simply awesome. What a marvelous hidden world. And to think you did it with the Tamron 90! I'd love to see a photo of your setup. I can't quite picture how this is all done.
  11. Amazing images Bob and they are so detailed. It looks like small beads that someone took hours to arrange into patterns and shapes. Well done. Years ago I used to have a similar setup for my film camera and did photography of chemicals on a glass slide using two polarizers. The colors and patterns on the butterfly wings remind me of that era in my life. Thanks for sharing these amazing images.
  12. Interesting work Bob, such amazing colors and patterns.

  13. these are incredible in every way. the information that you shared with them is fascinating as well. Thanks!
  14. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    Wow Bob! These are really amazing! And you are welcome - your bright images are relly jazzing up my server space! :smile:

    The lighting you've used really shows up the intense colors of the scales, while suppressing the background - an excellent technique. I can look at these for a long time, finding new stuff all the time. Thanks for posting (and the pursuit and rig-a-marole you went through to get them to me!)
  15. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  16. Thanks Paul. I just might take you up on that; as the new ones I have done are of very rare and endangered species and are just out of this world. We are now talking to the organisers of the Paris Exhibition of supplying POSTERS of 50 x 30 inches. Hells teeth. They are hoping to send a picture of the photos on the stand, and if it is good enough then I will get you to post it up for me.
    BW. Bob F.
  17. Bob, just noticed an article in this week's New Scientist (British science magazine I would image you've heard of ) on butterfly wings, scales, contours, etc. and how they are attempting to based new cosmetics on similar effects.

    You can read part of it here, more if you subscribe.

  18. well blow me down!! English expression. I did not know about this article so thank you very much indeed.

    BW. Bob F.
  19. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    In America we ascribe this phrase to Popeye.
  20. Yes, and if it included a chuckle we would say "ug ug ug ug!" :wink:

    That magazine, by the way, is my favorite source of science news.
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