01 March 2009

Reflections on snail photography—Part 2

There are good reflections and then there are bad reflections. Here is an example of a bad reflection.

SlugReflection1

I was trying to photograph a slug that was partially immersed in water. The light of the flash got reflected off the surface of water, fooled the camera.

Here is another shot of the same subject. The slug is well exposed and there is only a sliver of brightness near the slug's tail. But this isn't a good picture either for my purpose, because it's hard to tell if the slug's tail was really in the water.

SlugReflection2

Finally, here is the best exposure*. The narrow line of reflection on the water surface against the slug's body marks the meniscus, and in doing so, makes it clear that the slug's tail was indeed in the water. To obtain that reflection, I took several shots each with the flash, which was attached to the camera with a flexible cord, shining from a different angle.

SlugReflection3

*Is it technically correct to refer to a digital image as an "exposure"?

Part 1

2 comments:

budak said...

that's the problem with photographing subjects that are partially submerged. Unless the flash is rejected, one should stick to things that are wholly immersed or wholly exposed. With the former, an oblique shooting angle helps prevent flash 'black-outs'.

John said...

I think "exposure" is still correct, since you're exposing the camera's electronic sensor to light. The only difference is how it records the resulting image.