ABOUT ME

I live in a camper van with a couple of West Highland Terriers for company.
My passion is photography but it is a work in progress.
I am always willing to share what knowledge I have and can be contacted through the comments on this post or e-mail ADRIAN
ALL IMAGES WILL ENLARGE WITH A LEFT CLICK

Monday, 3 November 2014

PEACOCK. (03/11/14)

Last week I got a present from my sister. It came beautifully presented in an old jam jar. I have been thinking of the best way to shoot it and decided this morning that I’d focus stack it on the front surfaced mirror.  All I can say is I got some pictures.

_V0G7588          Peacock Butterfly. Aglais io. She found it dead on her windowsill. So far so good.

_V0G7594        Head on at 3X with the MP-E 65mm macro lens. Not all insects have hairy eyes but butterflies and some flies do. 

Things start to go down hill from here. I couldn’t find the lead to connect the camera to the laptop. I have several but where they are lord knows. Then because it is dead it’s legs wouldn’t hold it up on the mirror so I looked for my Pritt Stick. I didn’t want to use Super Glue as it would damage the mirror surface but it needed it’s bum glueing down. Couldn’t find the glue stick.

_V0G7591

_V0G7590         As you can see it didn’t die with it’s front legs straight and it’s back legs folded. Most inconsiderate of it. I popped my tweezers on it and then tried a bit of card. Neither are satisfactory. It needs sticking down. The 100mm macro is fine but even at f14 has limited depth of field.

I did have the patience to mask off the bottom of the ring flash with insulating tape. I use blue masking tape as black insulating tape melts as it absorbs too much heat from the strobes and is a devil to clean off…….I remembered that bit. I must be well on the way to recovery.

It’s awkward shooting things on a mirror as it reflects everything it can see. I now use a long piece of black cloth which I hang from the ceiling, run it under the mirror and drape it as best I can in a curve. I’m lucky as I have an adjustable roof blind three feet away to peg it to. The cloth isn’t really black enough but I use the eyedropper in levels to make it black then spend ten minutes spot removing dust and bits of butterfly from the mirror. I’ll have to try some different butterflies. It would be good to get a Common Blue as they are better looking underneath, better even than they are on top. Anyone who posts something wonderful can have some toffee. Try not to pick them up with your fingers. Use a pair of tweezers and grab a leg.

I then got the USB microscope out and the wee pot that controls light intensity broke. It broke full on and not full off. I took it to bits. It is a wee scrolling wheel in the middle of the USB cable and what a cheap and horrible bit of kit. Lot of wires in a USB2 cable. Some tiny lass in China must be half blind sorting them. I have jury rigged it now through a bread board with a proper variable resistor in. I was going to send it back but I will build this into a little Maplin box and it will outlast the microscope. I made a tiny light box so will pop both controls in the same box. I may even use a couple of miniature soft light boxes as well. Make myself a macro studio.

20141103101729       Peacock scales at 500X.

20141103102114      Peacock eye. I suspect my naughty sister has sprayed insect killer. I do if I get a housefly infestation, flies seem to get this blistering on their eyes.

20141103102157        Almost the end of it’s antenna. The last two were shot against posh black card from Windsor and Newton. It appears to be far from black. Costs enough to be black. I’ll collect some carbon black on a bit of glass from a candle and rub it in with my finger. I could always fire the truck up and collect some from the exhaust. Whatever it is not an insurmountable problem.

I like macro and micro. There is a whole new world to see. Have fun.

38 comments:

  1. Beautiful images as usual Adrian.

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    1. Maria, far from perfect but I did make an effort.

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  2. Lovely butterfly, but somehow I can't get past the idea of hairy eyes. I mean....oh, well. Maybe they suit some.

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    1. Frances, I just delight in their variability. The hairs must have a purpose.
      I once knew a lovely girl who was hairy. Folk were awful to her, I loved her; her hairs were soft. She is now a plastic surgeon working south of the equator on funny mouths and noses. She is still hairy. She couldn't help it and neither can the butterfly, they are born that way. Like the opposite of Alapecia.

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    2. PS I meant Alopecia. Don't want you thinking I'm as daft as a Texan.

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    3. PPs have written to Dithery over death row. He hasn't replied but then he is probably busy.

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    4. Good for you, Adrian!

      Re your hairy girlfriend, I still don't think she can have had hairy eyes...?

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    5. No she didn't have hairy eyes. She didn't have wings either.

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  3. How wonderful to see this butterfly SOOOOOOO close. Amazing.

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    1. Margaret, it's back in it's jam jar. I'll have another go at it. I love serious macro and wish I could get into real micro.

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  4. Seriously cool set of images especially the reflection shots.

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    1. Douglas, I like seeing both sides. The glass isn't cheap but I got it as offcuts from a bloke in London. Forty quid for two big bits. The hassle comes with trying to use it.
      Jen gave me a metre of thick black cloth which seems to do the job as long as it is hung proper.

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  5. Adrian, It's fascinating to see things in such detail and it brings home just how wonderful and intricate nature really is. More please?...[;o)

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    1. Trevor, I like the mirror. I'll do some more of them.

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  6. Microscopic images are a world in itself. Excellent!! Wow! Hairy eyes but makes the butterfly all the more beautiful, I would never have guessed it though!

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    1. Ruby, it is wonderful what you can find.

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  7. You should have been a detective. I'm impressed with what you found while trying to photograph this butterfly.

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  8. Your sister knows how to perk you up, doesn't she? You are obviously feeling better now. Not sure how I'd feel after getting up close with the hairy eyes but they are rather amazing.

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    1. I always enjoy close ups of insects. Some do look a bit revolting and some are.

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  9. And you will certainly will have good fun day. The Peacock is astounding.

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  10. Bob I'll have another go at it when I find some glue.

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  11. Some sisters send chocolates or Gillette razors, maybe a set of screwdrivers or a good novel but your sister sends you a dead butterfly! ...I guess she knows you well. Who knows what you'll get for Christmas? Maybe some reindeer shit.

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  12. Wow.. you sure do get some incredible detail with your process, Adrian. Your sister obviously appreciates your craft, as well.

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    1. Hilary, I do encourage her to save dead insects. Not mice or frogs though as they stink.

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  13. Replies
    1. Graham, it has been quite acceptable from the comments. Lunacy can pay dividends now and again.

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  14. The reflective peacock worked really well in spite of its non cooperation.

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    1. John. I'll do it again today. See what it's like glued down and stacked.

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  15. Buenas fotos de esos "monstruos":)))
    Un abrazo.

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    1. Laura, no son monstruos. Son hermosos.

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  16. Replies
    1. Maria, I can do better. I have become more comfortable with the strobe now so will keep trying.

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