Natural light stacking.. better prepare it the day before.

Images of undisturbed subjects in their natural environment. All subject types.

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Yawns
Posts: 399
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 9:18 am
Location: Benavente, Portugal

Natural light stacking.. better prepare it the day before.

Post by Yawns »

In the past couple of weeks I tried early morning shooting with natural light focus stacking, and I spent more time looking for the beasties than shooting...
One hour passes very fast, and spending 30 minutes around a single insect it's not uncommon

The temperature also raises quick after the sunrise and even if the insects can't fly or walk around they start to move body parts (legs, abdomen, mouth parts...) and waking up.
With the sunrise also starts the breeze, because of the air warming ...

So I started to look for them the night before and marking the places where I found something interesting, in the hope they can be there at 6 AM the day next... the good news is .. they are :) :) .. except for spiders and caterpillars who look to love to roam around during the night. But the winged ones don't move.

Insects are also a lot more easy to find during the night ... at night the grass is packed with still creatures...and the high contrast between the light in the branches and the darkness in the background makes it much easier to spot the insects... some also shine.

So I did a set of orange "flags" .. and in the morning it's very, very easy to find the spot again and go straight to the insect.

Image Flags... by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

A dragonfly ... at 10,30 PM ...

Image P3150139 by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

"Flagged"

Image P3151227 by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

The morning next :)

59 photos, f/3,5, differential 2
Image 2019-03-16-11.43.25 ZS retouched by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

An Aricia cramera (buterfly) spoted during the night...
Image IMG_20190304_234129 by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

next morning ..
Image FLK_000189 by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

Image FLK_000191 by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

meanwhile, during the search I am having lots of fun doing nocturnal shooting (Single shots)

Image P3150117 by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

Image P3150128 by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

Image P3151192 by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

with a very simple setup I am going to improve ...

Image IMG_20190314_195225 by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

Thanks for watching,
Antonio

Admin edit [rjl]: "bracketing" --> "focus stacking"
Last edited by Yawns on Sat Mar 16, 2019 7:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

leonardturner
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Post by leonardturner »

What a great idea--thanks for posting!

Leonard

zzffnn
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Post by zzffnn »

Very nice, thank you for sharing, Antonio! I have been learning from your posts.

So when you searched for insects at night with flashlight and sometimes photographed them speedlite, did they often get disturbed by your movement and lights? How did you avoid disturbing them (so that they don't move away)?

You probably don't need the bottom part of your plastic plate diffuser. Bigger white color may look like a bird to insects and be frightening to them. Also more cumbersome.
Last edited by zzffnn on Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Yawns
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Location: Benavente, Portugal

Post by Yawns »

leonardturner wrote:What a great idea--thanks for posting!

Leonard
Thank you...

Yawns
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Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 9:18 am
Location: Benavente, Portugal

Post by Yawns »

zzffnn wrote: So when you searched for insects at night with flashlight and sometimes photographed them speedlite, did they often get disturbed by your movement and lights? How did you avoid disturbing them (so that they don't move away)?
They don't get disturbed with the light.. neither with the torch, neither with the flash...
At night most of the insects are very "tolerant" ... they lack of energy (it's cool), they have the wings humid, can't fly etc...
some move a bit around but don't go away...
Image002 by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

others like Robberflies and Butterflies get very calm right after the sunset even with daylight .. when they decide to rest for the night they don't move anymore and become very docile .. robberflies will come home in your finger gladly.. butterflies too if you don't move them out of the leaf or branch.. you can even get them to the lightbox, they will not care ... (at least most of the times)

Just don't touch them ...

Image0003 by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

with a bit of experience you learn what you can and can't do... but usually they tolerate the lights, they tolerate some leaf / branch cutting with a scissor.. just don't make very sudden or hard moves..

---
the setup... yes you're right.. that was only a 5 minutes fix .. anyway it produces acceptable results. :)

MarkSturtevant
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Post by MarkSturtevant »

Very clever method! I would like to try that.
Mark Sturtevant
Dept. of Still Waters

Beatsy
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Post by Beatsy »

Great tip - searching the night before. Makes perfect sense. Thanks.

Troels
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Post by Troels »

Thanks for sharing photos and tips.
Troels Holm, biologist (retired), environmentalist, amateur photographer.
Visit my Flickr albums

Yawns
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Location: Benavente, Portugal

Post by Yawns »

Troels wrote:Thanks for sharing photos and tips.
yep.. recent smartphones have such good cameras it makes it very easy to document / illustrate all the activities .. and it's always at hand.

Yawns
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Location: Benavente, Portugal

Post by Yawns »

7,30 AM .. the sun is now high and hitting all the grass.

Image75 Photos - 2019-03-18 - C by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

lilewis
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Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2009 7:49 am

Thanks Antonio

Post by lilewis »

I've always appreciated you sharing your interesting experiences.

I'm glad to have found you here and once again learn some great field techniques from you on this thread..

SteveB
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Location: Pretoria South Africa

Post by SteveB »

Absolutely stunning - the preparation pays off!

Yawns
Posts: 399
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 9:18 am
Location: Benavente, Portugal

Post by Yawns »

SteveB wrote:Absolutely stunning - the preparation pays off!
Thank you ...
It's not working so well later... it's warming up, here. The temperature around midnight is now 10ºC (around 48F I suppose). I'm not finding so many insects at night now and the insects are more active because it's warmer...

last night I was out almost a couple of hours and I couldn't find much ,, just brought home decent pictures of this spider and did not leave any flags...

ImageP3200215 by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

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