Did you ever wonder, since alien visitors seem to have this thing for sexually examining humans and cutting out cow tongues (because, of all the organs that prove interesting to study, the tongue certainly tops the list,) do they ever abduct insects as well? You’d think they’d have to, wouldn’t you?
Anyway, I was playing around with a new softbox attachment, intended for handheld macro work, and while it needs some tweaking, I really like the result. Having an overhead light source looks much more natural, but typically this is hard to do and still retain some mobility. This rig, however, hangs right from a hotshoe-mounted flash – it needs a little bracing, because it’s weight that’s hanging over the front of the camera, but it’s completely portable and allows a great deal of freedom of movement. The shadows are managed and there are no overbright highlights – check the glow in the forward part of the eyes, which is the illuminating surface being reflected. Direct flash is useful for getting detail, but it often provides poor shaping and texture rendering, and has a harsh look. The softbox allows for more artistic approaches, and lets the camera get very close to a subject without having the shoe-mounted flash blocked by the lens, or simply firing over top of the subject.
Watch for more examples soon. Meanwhile, I’m going to keep an eye out for tiny UFOs beaming up bugs.