Tuesday, 10 February 2015

All White in the Tank!

I had a comment last week from John Stanton letting me know of a project called 'Help your Neighbours'. This is a an international photography project which celebrates common species everywhere. Meet your Neighbours photos are instantly recognizable as they use a brilliantly white background against the subject. Photos using this method are taken in the 'field studio', in other words, all photos are taken in the wild using normally white perspex with added flash. After viewing a number of shots using this method I thought I would have a go myself in my own little way. However my method had a few changes to try to get the desired effect. I put the tank in the kitchen with a single stick and the 12mm Emperor Dragonfly on and then attached a few A4 white pieces of paper around all the sides and the base. I used 2 LED lights behind the tank putting some extra light in from behind and set up the tripod with camera and speedlite on. As well as this I handheld another LED light which was used to shine in from the front and got my target set up and focused. I tried a few settings and struggled at first but eventually ended up using manual focus, f5.6, ISO 400 and speed set to 250. The results were a few usable shots which didn't turn out too bad. It certainly makes the Emperor stand out well and makes you appreciate the finer detail of the small nymph. I'm sure another go will be in order come the weekend when I get some more time. Maybe I should purchase some white perspex if I really want to up the quality. Again another challenge and something new to learn. All worthwhile in the end if I can end up with some nice shots.

Emperor Dragonfly Nymph


  1. Marc did you have to use any positive exposure compensation with that bright background ?

    1. Once I had set the f number and iso speed, the light varied a lot. Up at f16, a near dark shot but open at f5.6, this enabled quite a bright shot.

  2. Superb shots,very informative.