Stichophthalma louisa louisa. Wing scales.

Images made through a microscope. All subject types.

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Charles Krebs
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Stichophthalma louisa louisa. Wing scales.

Post by Charles Krebs »

Nikon MM-11. Olympus MPLFLN 5/0.15. Reflected light. 5X on sensor.
Image

Nikon MM-11. Olympus LMPLFLN 50/0.50. Reflected light. 50X on sensor.
Image

Chris S.
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Post by Chris S. »

Truly beautiful, Charlie. Your 5x image here strikes me as the most evocative treatment of butterfly details I have seen.

--Chris

oxkarthemighty
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Post by oxkarthemighty »

Again set to impress Charles?! :D
If your photo lacks interest, you aren't close enough.

ChrisR
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Post by ChrisR »

The 5x is particularly attractive. The lighting looks unusual; I have to say I thought maybe one of the specialist post-processing packages might have been used on it.

naturephoto1
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Post by naturephoto1 »

Charlie,

Stunning work.

Rich

Charles Krebs
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Post by Charles Krebs »

Thanks for the kind remarks!

With my MM-11 setup I have been using a very simple but effective method of illumination when working with non-iridescent butterfly and moth wing-scales and wings.
(A few other relatively recent posts where I was very pleased with the outcome using this same lighting method can be seen here, and here.)

It is just a curved ring cut from one of those super large (50mm diameter) ping-pong balls. Up to three (typically two, sometimes only one) of the Ikea LED lights are used at low angles as seen below. If I move the light in really close (almost touching the ball section) the shadows get much stronger (smaller effective light source). If I pull it back or add a second light to illuminate a larger surface area it is possible to soften the shadows significantly. If the edge of the ball section is moved closer to the section being photographed (the picture below shows it "centered") it will illuminate the subject part closest the the ball more brightly and there will be some light fall-off across the subject, which can actually be useful at times. It is very easy to control the intensity of the shadows by either adding another light to the opposite side, or simply by raising the main light up just a little so some of it will spill over to the back of the ball where it reflects light back into the shadows (as can be seen below to the left of the objective being used). It is also important to determine the angle of the scales and wing veins relative to the direction of the light. Sometimes I'll use a rotating stage. Other times (as is the case here) the subject is on a piece of black foam-core and rotated by hand.

Image

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