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Blue Mud Dauber - Opinions?

 
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zed



Joined: 07 Feb 2019
Posts: 19
Location: Houston, TX

PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2019 6:14 pm    Post subject: Blue Mud Dauber - Opinions? Reply with quote

Hi All,

I want to solicit people's opinions here on what you think of the following images:

The first is a portrait of a Blue Mud Dauber (Chalybion californicum) taken with reflected light.



The second image is the same stack - but the eye has been overlayed with an auto-fluorescence image collected with UV LED.



I took this step because I wasn't terribly happy with the illumination of the eye in the reflected image - I think the antennae drops a shadow that is hard to deal with.

Do you have a preference?
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pbraub



Joined: 02 Feb 2018
Posts: 57

PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2019 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Zed,

these are both great images. Thank you for sharing! I like the first one better - the steel grey of the eye complements the metallic blue better than the uv fluorescent light blue. The shadow doesnt bother me at all.

Kind regards
Peter
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Smokedaddy



Joined: 07 Oct 2006
Posts: 1406
Location: Phoenix, Arizona

PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2019 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent, very nice.
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RDolz



Joined: 28 Aug 2017
Posts: 73
Location: Valencia (Spain)

PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2019 2:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent images (both)!

Can you tell us the technical aspects: what lens, or combination of them, have you used, .... camera, magnification, etc?

Best
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Scarodactyl



Joined: 14 Apr 2018
Posts: 164

PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2019 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally I prefer the first, though both are great. The reflected light has a cinematic look to it. It would be a great element for a movie poster.
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zzffnn



Joined: 22 May 2014
Posts: 1815
Location: Texas USA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2019 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Both are very nice. With the antennae shadow fixed, I would prefer the first one.

Maybe add two more lights to reduce shadows, one tilted at 12 o'clock position of the frame, and a second tilted at 2:30 o'clock position.


Last edited by zzffnn on Wed Jun 26, 2019 4:01 pm; edited 1 time in total
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mawyatt



Joined: 22 Aug 2013
Posts: 2076
Location: Clearwater

PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2019 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zed,

Both are really nice, great detail and clarity, but like others I prefer the 1st. Interestingly, I like the shadows on the 1st, they give a sense of depth for me.

Best,
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 19887
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2019 4:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Blue Mud Dauber - Opinions? Reply with quote

zed wrote:
I think the antennae drops a shadow that is hard to deal with.

Are you talking about that band of ommatidia, about half way from front to back, where each single facet appears to be split into two narrow bright sections?

I do not recall having seen that effect before, but yes, that seems consistent with ommatidia in that area reflecting a light source that is seen as split by the antenna passing in front of it.

I do find that effect pretty derailing, but even so I prefer the realism of the first image over the glowing-eye effect of the second.

--Rik
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Lou Jost



Joined: 04 Sep 2015
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Location: Ecuador

PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2019 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree, I like the first, and the shadow adds volume. Both are really nice images by the way.
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zed



Joined: 07 Feb 2019
Posts: 19
Location: Houston, TX

PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you all for the great feedback! It looks like I will be revisiting the illumination for this guy this weekend.

There are 2 issues with the eye as Rik noted - the first is a line pattern projected by what I think is a flag I used to limit the flash on the background. I believe this is what created the line in each facet of that central band of ommatidia. I think I just moved my flash diffuser too far back and some light spilled over the flag. That stuff is so easy to miss in the single frames prior to the stacking.

The second issue is the dark band closer to the back that is the shadow from the antennae. The lighting here is from the upper right - but is somewhat side illuminated to generate the depth people have noticed. The eye might require more direct illumination. I'll have to play with this a bit.

For those who are interested - this was taken with a single studio flash, double styrofoam cup diffuser, 10X/0.28 Mitutoyo with a Nikon D850.
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Lou Jost



Joined: 04 Sep 2015
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Location: Ecuador

PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice edge-to-edge sharpness. What did you use as the tube lens?
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zed



Joined: 07 Feb 2019
Posts: 19
Location: Houston, TX

PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 6:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lou Jost wrote:
Nice edge-to-edge sharpness. What did you use as the tube lens?


Tube lens is a DCR-150
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