Nikon 105 for butterfly collection

Started Apr 2, 2014 | Questions thread
Antal I Kozma Senior Member • Posts: 2,602
Re: Nikon 105 for butterfly collection

TQGroup wrote:

Hi Antal

Thank you very much for such a clear and comprehensive explanation! Clearly you have the benefit of a lot of experience behind you.

One question for you, if I may... can you suggest an "optimum" colour and material as a background to the butterflies.

Currently I envisage using a sizable pad of dense rubber into which to stick the pinned butterfly for each individual portrait and I want to cover this with a suitable cloth. I'm thinking about velvet for its non-reflective properties...

And what about colour? An 18% neutral grey? I don't know yet if there is an "industry" standard so I'm open to your thoughts. Cheers Andrew

Hi Andrew,

Honestly, I was not giving any thoughts to background colour since the butterflies likely will vary quite a bit in colour and pattern. Your idea with the dense rubber as base is good. I used a cork pad for small objects that were elevated by a supporting pin. Either way the same idea.

Giving some thought to background I probably would use something other than neutral grey. My reasoning is that although neutral grey is a good choice for for not obtrusive background it may not suit butterflies as the subject since we hardly ever see a butterfly against grey in nature.

I've looked through a bunch of images to get a feel for background. About 80% of my butterfly images were against various shades of blurred green and the rest of against some shade of tan, like when they were collecting minerals from wet sand.

So, if I were to the task I probably would experiment with a darker shade of somewhat desaturated green or some sand imitation. Wet sand is kind of greyish beige. Hence your thoughts of natural grey is actually not far off the possibilities.

Blue Spotted Purple, Black Swallowtail and Kramers can often be seen sucking minerals of wet sand. I could see any other colours being photographed against a background like that.

Anyway, velvet is a good idea regardless of what colour you may end up using. Just a thought; if I would end up with sand as my choice of background I would use a tray with an inch of wet sand in it and that would even hold my pins without cork under the sand.

If you will use rubber or cork then have a pair of needle nose pliers with you to seat the pin into the base, since you cannot push from above. You need to grab the pin under the body to drive it into the base.

Best regards, AIK

 Antal I Kozma's gear list:Antal I Kozma's gear list
Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED VR Phase One Capture One Pro Nikon D810 Nikon D500 Olympus E-M1 II +21 more
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