Shadows and Reflections revisited

/ in Reflections, Shadows by Marek
A photo of the lake in Sheffield Park, trees reflecting in the water
Making waves with reflections

Following on from a previous post entitled ‘Lessons from Ireland’ where I had stuck feet on a piece of glass primarily for taking underside pictures of moths whilst away from home by utilizing a hinged background.

The tests I carried out using this new gizmo, for all intents and purposes, made the old method of recording this position redundant as by its very construction it allowed more light onto the subject and was much more versatile and practical to use.

When the moths were settled in a horizontal position gently raising them vertically was so much easier and caused them little or no distress.

It was on one such occasion when I remembered that I needed a top view of the moth, which was now quite settled on the glass waiting for its rise to fame, so decided to try a shot while it was still horizontal on the glass.

In fairness I was not expecting the high quality of the picture taken as seen in the attached shot which I kept for this post unedited.

Top down shot of an Early Grey moth on a grey background
Glass photography can be a grey area.

For me this was a real breakthrough as I could now see a possible way of standardising my images as even if the pictures had reflections, which they certainly would from side shots, it would give me little trouble to remove them in post processing.

As explained in my post entitled ‘Shadows’ any attempt to remove shadows from an image is not only difficult but because the shadow is part of the image makes the result look unnatural and obvious.

Reflections however do not pose the same problems as they are not part of the image itself.

Side by side comparison photo of a moth showing the issue with reflection and shadows in my shots
Its during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.

This is illustrated in the picture attached of a Turnip moth taken on glass and on a solid background as a comparison.

As can be seen on the RHS image the shadow forms part of the subject and is noticeably darker as it blends into the background.

On the LHS image although the background colour is not uniform the image itself is and the reflections of the legs are not attached to the image due to the distance between the glass and background.

Notice also that the space between the hairs on the legs of the moth are a uniform colour which is not the case with the image that has the shadow.

When I considered the differences explained above I decided that more experimentation of images taken on glass was necessary.

I would have ample time to do this as we were looking forward to a trip to Northumberland and our third trip to the Burren.

I would have to take two sets of pictures one on a solid background and the other on the glass so would generate extra work due to the stacking process.

The results of my tests will be the subject of a future post.