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08-20-2008, 11:58 AM   #1
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Macro (Flash) Question

I've been shooting a lot of macro lately but I'm having a problem and would like some suggestions or ideas if anyone has one.

I'm using the 540 flash with a diffuser and getting some blown out areas due to the flash on shiny surfaces like leaves. I tried turning the flash down varying amounts and it helped but I was never able to get rid of it totally. Here's an example:

You can see the shiny reflection on the leaf in many places. I thought maybe a CPL would help but too late to try it today. I also have a Lumiquest Softbox but it can get in the way sometimes.

Anyone have any ideas how to reduce or eliminate these reflections?


edit: Forgot to mention, when I was PPing it I changed the exposure -1 if it matters. No other changes except cropping.

Last edited by Slick; 08-20-2008 at 12:03 PM. Reason: Forgot to add something...
08-21-2008, 01:51 AM   #2
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IMX with macro, I don't know if there's that much you can do about it if you're taking pictures in the field. If you collect the insects with foliage and use a small macro studio setup you can play with the angle of the lights, subject and camera to minimise these highlights. I think that you've actually done very well as the actual subject is hardly blown out.

Other than changing your camera angle, or diffusing light as much as possible, one trick can be to actually underexpose 0.5-1 stop and then recover it in PP. This does have the downside of introducing more noise, but it can help.

The DR feature on the K20D does help with this as well, but again it does lead to appreciably more noise, but that's usually easier to remove in PP than blown highlights, but can get tedious with a lot of photos to process.
08-21-2008, 05:52 AM   #3
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Use polarized light. Put one pola on flash another on camera lens. Shoot some test shots while turning only one filter to get it right. Will get rid of most hot spots on shiny bugs and leaves. Can give intense color too.

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