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ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Workaround to fixing the scale reflection in moths? (1 Viewer)


San Diego CA
United Kingdom
When I'm doing night photography, flash is my favourite and go-to tool. However it has an issue with moths and butterflies, and anything with scales, where using it at a straight angle (i.e. the best viewing angle for features and the species in general), the scales will reflect the flash. I've seen people use macro flash at night without this issue, so I'm trying to work out the secret here.

Here's some relevant recent examples. One is fine on one side, with a bit of the issue on the far wing. The second is completely obscured by these reflecting scales and the pattern and colouration is effectively lost. I find the solution tends to be taking the photo at a less straight angle (since reflection angle seems to be involved), but that involves some awkward shooting positions, and with some highly reflective species that isn't good enough.


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Since the angle of incidence usually equals the angle of reflection, it might be useful to not use a flash unit mounted on the camera's hotshoe, or the one built into the camera, but one that is offset to one side. Better even, a rail with the camera in the middle and a synchronized flash unit on either side.

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