Bell Smith Springs, Illinois
Just for you guys, here are some portraits of a colorful sap beetle in the family Nitidulidae I encountered in southern Illinois last weekend. It’s a charming little insect, especially the cute, clubby antennae.
The challenge with shooting shiny insects such as Glischrochilus is lighting the insect without glare. The back of this animal is like a mirror, and if I were to just use the available sunlight or a bare camera flash all I’d get is a blown-out spot reflection of the light source with the rest of the animal appearing dark and featureless. So the trick is to transform a point source of light and spread it out over a large area so that the reflection is smooth and even. For these shots I used a couple pieces of mylar diffusion sheets underneath a twin flash, like so.
Incidentally, it happens to be my birthday today. Thirty-seven. I’m now legal for…um. Yeah. What do they let you do at 37? I’m hoping it’s a second cup of coffee.
photo details: Canon EOS 7D camera
Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens
ISO 100, f/13, 1/250sec
diffused twin flash