THE ORIGINAL WEEK 31 CHALLENGE IS STILL AVAILABLE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST
The members have spoken, they want GOOD OLD FASHION TECHNICAL CHALLENGES! Well here it is, never before seen on the PhotoChallenge : CROSS POLARIZATION MACRO Photography.
I’m talking about lighting up your subject with polarized light and filtering that light with an other polarized filter on the lens. It’s an old technique used to reproduce paintings and various artwork as you can eliminate 100% of all light reflections.
I first attempted to bring this concept down to macro photography last year. I used my in-house wildlife model, PESTO. With Pesto’s help I was able to fine tune my setup and produce some great images in the field. You can read my article on cross polarization here on my blog : http://www.trolettiphoto.com/blog/2014/9/Pesto-the-Barred-parakeet-and-Cross-Polarization
It looked good on Pesto’s feathers. Barely a reflection in his eye. It was but the beginning. Over the winter I tuned my flashes with 3rd party diffusers and attached the Rosco polarizing Gels to them with the use of velcro dots. I now have cleaner softer light that is easier to control in the field. The above image of a Black Swallowtail Butterfly Caterpillar is testimony to my new setup.
The exact same setup was used on this caterpillar looking Sawfly Larvae. In this case the black background is not only due to a lack of illumination, it’s a silver reflector bouncing the light directly back at the lens. The cross polarized light reflects back as black light, if your setup is well tuned. I also cover my subject with a second reflector as to eliminate reflections from sunlight.
I’m using a fairly humble setup. A Nikon D810 mounted to a Nikkor Micro 105mm lens. I sometimes use a 1.4x teleconverter or/and extension tubes depending on the size of the subject and the working distance I need. I mount all these components to a Manfrotto telephoto support mounted in turn to a macro rail. This allows me to move the camera front or back without moving the tripod. My lighting source is the Nikon R1 close-up Speedlight flash system. There you can see the Vello diffusers and the Rosco Polarizing filter gels. I use a Hoya Pro Digital Circular polarizing filter mounted in front of the lens.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
1. Some type of Macro Lens
2. A Circular Polarized Filter for your Lens
3. 1 or more external flash, preferable. (You can also use a built in flash)
4. A linear or polarized filter for your flash I.E. Rosco Polarized Filter Gels (A lens filter or even a good pair of polarized sunglasses will work.)
5. A reflector / diffuser to block light from external sources such as sunlight.
6. A Tripod will make life much easier
The trick is to turn the polarized filter on your lens until the polarized filter in front of your flash turns completely black. I do this in front of a mirror. You can also use a small flashlight behind the flash polarizing filter to make sure you get it just right. It’s important to mark and remember the orientation of your flash polarizing filter and the lens polarizing filter. They have to remain aligned this way or you will not get the desired results.
PRODUCE A MACRO IMAGE OUTDOORS USING THE PRINCIPLES OF CROSS POLARIZATION. Your subject does not need to be a bug it can be anything outdoor in nature. (NO MAN MADE OBJECTS) Flowers show spectacular colors when using CROSS POLARIZATION. (Ornamental flowers accepted as long as they are outdoor)
FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO FOLLOW THE ORIGINAL CHALLENGE HONORING WILDLIFE PRESERVATION IN HONOR OF THE DEATH OF CECIL THE LION YOU STILL CAN FOR THIS WEEK.
2015 CHALLENGE, WEEK 31 OUTDOOR PHOTOGRAPHY – CECIL THE LION
I believe that by now we’ve all heard the story of Cecil the Lion. It’s raised a great deal of debate over Trophy Hunting and Wild Life Preservation. We can’t bring Cecil back, but we can honor him and help protect future generations of wildlife around the globe.
For this challenge I’m not going to ask you to take a picture of a Lion. You can if you want and happen to have a Lion ready to pose nearby. This Challenge will be about Wildlife Preservation in your area. How it affects you, your community and maybe the entire planet.
It’s not always about the animals themselves. In many countries, education and efforts to integrate local communities in preservation efforts are often the most rewarding. It’s your assignment to capture the moment in a storytelling image. Tell us how it relates to Wildlife Preservation and how it affects you from an objectif perspective.
Preserving Natural Habitat for Wildlife is also important. The Gray Lodge Wildlife Area pictured above is a major migratory stop for birds in California. Without it thousands of birds would not have the strength to complete their yearly migrations.
In this case, Wildlife Preservation in an Urban Nature Park is about caring for injured animals one at a time and releasing them back into nature. Pictured, Wildlife Technician Denis Fournier releases a Snapping Turtle into the wild after it had been treated for a penis prolapse by a local veterinarian.
Remember to accompany your image with a brief paragraph, adding editorial value to your image. Describe to us the Wildlife and Natural Preservation message your image portrays.
Remember to respect nature and not to disturb any animals or destroy their habitat in any way during your quest for the perfect image. Also take time to familiarize yourself with local wildlife and plants. Some animals can present a danger, especially if protecting their young. Spiders and Snakes, especially hard to see baby snakes can present a great danger due to their venom. It’s always better to keep a safe distance from any wild animal no matter how sweet and innocent it may seem. Animals should not be fed. Feeding animals often encourages them to approach humans, increasing the risk of injury from individuals who may appreciate them less than you might. Most animals in rescue centers get there due to an encounter with humans.
Get acquainted with plants like Poison Oak and Poison Ivy or any other dangerous plants in your area. Some plants not only represent a risk of skin irritation but can also kill you if touched or ingested. Learn to identify the dangerous plants in your area.
The sky’s the limit for this week’s challenge. Get out there and show us what Mother Nature has to offer you! Nature and Wildlife photography can be a great family activity
The rules are pretty simple:
- Post one original photograph (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to Google+, Facebook, or Flickr (or all three). Tag the photo #photochallenge.org or #photochallenge2015.
- The shot should be a new shot you took for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
- The posted image should be a photograph, not a video.
- Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2015 Photo Challenge is fun and easy.
FEATURED IMAGE: Cecil & Jericho Photo: Brent Stapelkamp 500PX
WILDCRU – OXFORD UNIVERSITY : http://wildcru.org/
Facebook Justice for Cecil : https://www.facebook.com/boycottdentistjamespalmer