I bet you are wondering what this bit of High Tech equipment is. It's a bucket on a stick I have been thinking about having a look at the insects in the pond but they are the devil to catch as they swim out of range when they see me. This has solved the problem.
I caught this Common Pondskater. Gerris lacustis. I never knew they had wings but from these pictures it looks as if they do. This is the set up.
Two strobes and a reflector seems to work best but it doesn't work very well. I could do with using a polariser but then the light would have to be from one side only and I can't see to focus. I think I'll have to set the camera up on a tripod, focus without the polariser then pop it on and hope I can see enough in EOS Utility to fire the camera and strobes when something swims into frame.
I always trigger off camera strobes with Pocket Wizard triggers. These are their Flex TT5 system and I got them for about a quarter of new price. I suspect people buy them and then can't use them. It took me about a day to sort them. I had to log in to Pocket Wizard Utility and plug each unit into the computer and their software sorts them out. I switch them on from the top down. Strobe first, then the PW slave then when they are on do the master unit and the camera. I switch off in the reverse order. I was working with a chap who was also using them and he gave me this tip. The other thing to watch for is other photographers using them within a few hundred metres. There are three channels to choose from and the buttons are really fiddly. Just decide between you who is using which channel or you will be flashing by accident. If you have them don't give up, they work like a dream once you have torn your hair out and hit them with something big and heavy. The little gizmo right at the top on the camera is an extra and allows you to adjust up to three strobes manually. I tend to go with ETTL unless it looks really bad.
Now in my bucket I have one or two more little creatures, there is a little transparent thing that hangs vertically just under the surface and seems to move by waggling little hairs about and a black spider that swims back and forth. Lots of other things but I suspect they are going to be too small.
This is from yesterday and was sitting on it's web in the bracken. I just got the one shot and can't identify it.
There were several of these eating bird crap on a galvanised gate. I spent ages mucking around and really like this one lit from below. The only problem I have is that the zinc is showing colour fringing or chromatic aberration of some sort. It almost looks like luminance noise but I'll work on it a bit more.
Have a great week and an even better month.