|Everything's shiny, captain|
Some photo subjects are fairly uncommon, and when you finally find them, quite often they're not in a setting conducive to photography, or if they are, they're trying very hard to leave it quickly. Such applied to my friend here, a slimy salamander (Plethodon glutinosus.) So, I carefully captured it (the abrasions on its back occurred before I'd located it) and brought it back home with me for a brief studio session. This consisted of throwing together a small authentic-looking set with moist soil and leaves, well-misted to mimic the conditions such species prefer. I used the softbox to throw a broad diffuse light from above to bring up more of the shine from the skin without getting too many 'hotspots,' or specular highlight reflections – those would have obscured detail and made the image too high in contrast. As it is, I seemed to have struck the balance between showing off its camouflage in the conditions, and highlighting its presence and slick skin. It was fairly cooperative, as such subjects go, because it would pause in position for a few moments before burrowing under the leaves to hide.