How to shoot UV Fluorescence photos of flowers | Macro Photography Tutorial


hi guys i’m Ben from Adaptalux and
today i’m taking a look at ultraviolet induced visible fluorescence photography
it’s a bit of a mouthful UVIVF photography for short now if you
don’t know what that is i recommend going and taking a look at the first
part of this video it’s a two-parter in the first part I’ll explain a little bit
about what UV photography actually is and and the differences between the two
different types so if you’ve not seen that I recommend going and checking that
out first I’ll link at the top of the screen now and it’ll also be in the
description in this video we’re going to be taking a look exactly how to achieve
UV fluorescence photography and we’re going to be shooting these lilies here
so I’m gonna get started setting up in the bathroom here and I’ll tell you
exactly why I’m here in just a second so why am I here in the bathroom of all
places well there’s a perfectly good reason for it at the end of the last
video I mentioned that we’re going to need a couple of things in order to
achieve UV fluorescence photography the first one is a pure UV light source now
we have that in the form of the adaptalux studio and our UV lighting arms the
other thing though is darkness so this is the darkest room in my house and even
then I’ve had to block up a skylight so that there’s no light coming in through
there at all you’re going to need the same thing I recommend that you go out
and find a really dark space to shoot in and have some lights around that you can
switch on and off so just a quick note before we start using the UV lighting
arms and that’s on safety UV light it is harmful to your eyes it’s that’s
why we have sunglasses it’s why we have sunscreen and sunblock so I do recommend
using some eye protection at the very least when you’re using UV light like
this particularly if you’re if you’ve decided to go out and get a modified
flash there’s a there’s a lot more intensity of UV light comes out of those
than out of our lighting arms still even with the lighting arms I recommend some
eye protection my glasses actually have some UV coatings on them so no UV light
passes through there you can go out and get some UV protective glasses for a
couple of pounds or a couple of dollars online and those will be more than
sufficient to protect your eyes from the UV light if you wanted to look
particularly cool just wear your sunglasses that’s exactly what they’re
designed for is cutting out UV light before I turn out our our lights I want
to show you our subjects in a bit more detail and so we’ve got a lily here
which is really quite nice it’s got a lot of different hues and colors in
there and this pollen all around the center here is going to fluoresce really
nicely as well we’ve also got some some orange ones
not quite sure what these guys are going to do and but I would imagine that the
pollen will glow quite similarly to the other one and this one’s actually
got quite a lot of pollen down on the petals as well now now a lot of subjects
they fluoresce quite nicely particularly if they’re alive so flowers and plants
leaves insects as well if you can keep things steady enough they’re going to
produce some really interesting effects when when you put them under UV light I
recommend just grabbing stuff from your garden and putting it under the UV light
doing what we’re gonna do today and seeing what the results are
there’s nothing quite like when you take your long exposure and the image pops up on the back of the camera and it will blow your mind the the
differences between what we can see with our own eyes and what we see with a long
exposure using UV light I’m gonna start setting up our camera and tripod and
lighting so that you guys can see exactly what you need to be able to
create a UV fluorescence image but my flowers out I’ve got a few different
types of giving them a little bit of a prune and taken away some extra leaves
and foliage and things like that just to clean up our shots a little bit but
before we set up a composition and start shooting I just wanted to run you
through this setup now if you’ve already got a setup for shooting your subject in
a conventional way and you can transplant that into a dark environment
then by all means definitely do that I’ve been I’m shooting flowers here so
I’ve got my telephoto lens attached so that can get nice close into the
flowers while still getting the entire flower in there so I’m not using a macro
lens just yet we might be able to go a little bit closer in in a little while
but the important parts here are the tripods the stabilization because we’re
going to be taking quite long exposures of say 30 seconds
you’re going to need that stabilization whereas if you are shooting using
conventional light you might be inclined to you know hand hold the camera of your
free hand and here we’re going to need tripod so I’ve got my camera set on one
tripod here and then I’ve got my lighting set on a separate tripod over
here now it’s really possible to pop the Adaptalux Studio onto the top of the
camera and get a little bit closer like I say I want to be quite far out so that
I can get shots of the type of flowers now that’s exactly what I’m going to do
I’m going to compose a few shots here exactly like I would with with normal
light taking into consideration where the UV lighting arms are pointing where
the shadows are going to be falling with that UV light it’s still going to behave
like normal light it’s just going to look as if it’s coming from the flower
so if you’ve got a stem that is its light lit from one side it’s going to
leave a shadow on the other side so just bear things like that in mind whilst
you’re composing your shots I’m going to take a few initial shots here and see
what kind of results we’ve got now that I’ve got a good idea about what my
lilies are actually going to look like under the UV light and how they go into
fluoresce I can recompose my shots and really start to explore some of these
flowers I’ll be doing that in a minute I just want to give you a really quick
walkthrough of what I’m actually doing the process that I’m going through to
get these shots I was kind of hard to show you in the pitch darkness which is
what it’s like when I’m actually shooting so I’ll give you an explainer
and I’ll tell you what’s gonna be different the sooner you turn out lights
so using the setup that you just seen you
compose your shot that’s the first thing that you’re going to need to do and like
we’ve already said you can do that exactly how you would any other shot for
the subject that you’re shooting so flowers I’m using the telephoto lens and
I want to get quite a lot of the flower in focus
now speaking of focus though that’s something that you’re going to need to
think about before you turn out the lights obviously as soon as you turn out
the lights your autofocus isn’t gonna work you’re not gonna be able to look
through the viewfinder and you’re not gonna be able to focus on anything so
before you turn out the lights make sure you’ve focused on the spot that you want
to be focused on and you can flip your camera over to manual mode and then it’s
not going to change obviously if you were ready on manual mode that’s great
you just need to turn out the lights once in focus now usually I don’t like
going on about settings too much a lot of people find it kind of boring and
it’s also completely different for every scenario every shoot and every subject it
is worth mentioning here though because the two things that you’re going to want
to be able to control are your ISO and your aperture shutter speed is going to
be fine because you’re sat on a tripod that’s gonna happen no matter what so
you can push your shutter speed as long as it possibly can go so 30 seconds for
convenience that’s what most cameras go up to if you really need it you can go
to bulb mode and get some extra you shouldn’t need it using say 2 UV
lighting arms your ISO is going to be a bigger concern it’s going to bring in a
lot of grain especially on a long exposure shot the longer the exposure
the more grain it’s going to gather so you’re gonna want your ISO to be as low
as possible I’ve been shooting around ISO 200 and 250 maybe pushing up a
little bit higher if I need a little bit more brightness out of certain
shots and I’ll be continuing to sort of change that up and down just slightly as
I change my shots around the other concern is your aperture you want a
pretty good depth to field for something like flowers so I’ve been shooting
around f8 which gives me a decent depth of field
and enough of the flower in focus obviously if you’re not that bothered
about your depth of field and you can open up your aperture all the way then
absolutely do that you can then bring your ISO all the way down and you can
maybe even bring your shutter speed down a little bit just so you’re not waiting
around quite as long obviously if you are wanting your maximum depth of field
and you’re gonna go sort of up to f-22 then you’re going to need to think about
raising your ISO a little bit or lengthening your shutter speed so those
are just a couple of considerations with your settings with the shot that I’ve
just got you can see that it’s actually snap on well there’s something a little
soft rock type thing that I found in my bathroom and you can see that it’s
absolutely fluorescing a little bit so that’s the next thing that you’re going
to need to think about when you’re setting of your shots is there anything
else in your environment that’s going to fluoresce now in my bathroom which is
painted almost entirely white there’s quite a few things in here that will
fluoresce the little boat down in the corner he fluoresces so I’ve moved him
out the way because you can see him hanging around in the background of
some of our shots and things like the tiles if you’re too close to something
that’s white it’s gonna fluoresce and it might fluoresce more than your subject to
get a nice dark background I’ve got quite a good distance away from anything
in that background that might fluoresce as well so with our settings and our
environment in control we’re pretty much ready to expose now the last thing that
you need to think about is turning out the lights and pressing the shutter
button it’s easier said than done in pitch
darkness is very easy to knock a tripod or sort of fumble your camera so that
your your focus is then out I recommend using a shutter release cable this is a
pretty bog standard one but it just allows you to plug in and then press the
button without having to touch your camera no camera shake and no risk of
messing up your exposure by fumbling around too much it also means that you
can maybe have one hand on your light switch and then the other hand on your
camera without having to stretch too far or or risk knocking your camera so with
all of that said it’s time for me to start experimenting with my lilies I
want to get lots of different shots of all of the different types of lilies I
want to get nice and close in and further out and capture those details on
all of the petals and I want to move my lighting around to create some really
interesting effects now I’ve got I’ve got three UV lighting arms I might not
be using all three of them for every shot but the objective I’m going for is
to be getting those UV lighting arms in as close as possible to the subject and
just getting them into position where they’re not seen in
in the frame and what they are as close to the subject as possible so I’m gonna
start experimenting moving my lighting around moving my camera around and
changing my subject and let’s see what we can get
using these UV IVF photography techniques I can’t really explain to you
guys the the feeling when you see these images pop up on the back of your camera
after your long exposure it’s so so interesting to see what your eye can’t
actually see I guess that’s part the reason that a lot of us enjoy
photography particularly a low-light photography nighttime photography all of
these the fringe types of photography really really interesting at least to me
now our lilies on I’m really happy with these like I said at the beginning
they’re not the the best the best fluorescing subjects but they do
fluoresce enough for us to be able to capture some really interesting lighting
and colors coming up on here I was particularly interested to see that
the pollen doesn’t actually glow on these lilies a lot of the other flowers
that I’ve shot before the pollen glows quite brightly so I’ve got in quite
closely getting all of these little spines and things in here but I also
wanted to get nice and close to that pollen itself and see if it does
fluoresce it turns out it does it just doesn’t fluoresce very much compared to the
rest of the flower so that was really interesting as well
nevertheless I’ve had so much fun shooting these lilies under UV light
using the UVIVF photography techniques that I’ve shown you here today which are
particularly easy using the the Adaptalux UV arms because all it takes
is to cut out some light take a long exposure and then you’ve got this
magnificent image of something that you’d never be able to see with your
naked eye now let us know down in the comments
what you think to today’s shoot and if you’ve got any suggestions of subjects
that you’d like us to shoot under UV light then by all means let us know as
well because we’ll be doing more of these tutorials and particularly macro
photography tutorials with UV light in the future so make sure to let us know
in the comments if you’ve got any suggestions make sure to give us a like
whilst down there and subscribe for some more tutorials in the future until then
though guys thanks for watching and I’ll see you next time

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