Trying Out “Meet Your Neighbours” — Again

Nature has explained to me many things that books alone could not give me. Science and nature have given me the most interesting hours of my life.  —Roman Vishniac

I first heard about “Meet Your Neighbours” (the “u” is intentional) during the BioBlitz at Rocky Mountain National Park.  Clay Bolt gave a presentation on this project that is associated with ILCP and lists some pretty impressive photographers as participants. The technique is fairly straightforward.  Basically you use white plexiglas (acrylic) with a flash behind it to create a pure white background for your subject.  Flash in front provides the main light. It creates a very consistent appearance and makes it easy to extract the image.  I used it for my project in Nebraska at Homestead National Monument, but not under the best circumstances, trying it for the first time in the field. So today when my son found a large Imperial Moth on our porch, I thought it was a good opportunity to try it at home where I had more resources.

Welll — I actually had better luck in the field.  I used an old Sunpak 311 with a mini-slave for the back lighting.  It worked reasonably well in Nebraska, but here it just kept shorting out.  Nevertheless, I was not about to let this opportunity with a very cooperative moth escape without at least trying.Imperial moth (Eacles imperialis, female).

Imperial moth (Eacles imperialis, female)

I found that the back lighting wasn’t sufficient and wasn’t even, so I had to do a lot of clean up in post.  Also need to make sure next time that the plexi is clean –  it is a real dust magnet.

I ordered a flash multi-sync cable that I can use to connect an old (not as old as the Sunpak) Nikon SB-25 flash to my SB-800 directly and avoid the issues I had with the slave. Hopefully it will work better next time.  Also played around a little with images.ImperialMothEdgesDiffImperialMothEdges

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