I was really delighted when, over a year ago Luis Manuel Iglesias Nuñez asked me to provide a preface for a book he was writing.

 

 

We have never met but we have built up a strong link because of our shared interest in the small things in this world. Luis had bought and read a copy of a book of mine on macro photography, quite a few years ago, that had been translated into Spanish.

And here is the result, a superbly illustrated work – the text is authoritative and in Spanish …but the pictures are that universal, visual language and they are of superb quality with a very wide range of subjects and techniques on display.

This is a highly personal book for it reveals the way Luis takes his photographs and provides an insight into his lifelong passion for the natural world….particularly its smaller inhabitants.

It is easy to get locked into a particular style in any photographic field and many do so in close-up photography, using one macro lens and depicting the same few species in the same way. For example, if you look at the results in various UK competitions, then there is a sameness…nice pics yes, but nothing to write home about…and yet, when you begin to look wider into European competitions there you see a tremendous diversity of techniques, styles and subject matter. It comes as quite a shock to see the standards out there… and we all need that jolt at times to prevent complacency setting in. Read More

Nowadays, we are spoilt by technology and there is a tendency to think in terms of a camera controlling the output of flash guns via its DTTL exposure system. Even better, it can do this without the use of cables via a WiFi set up. However, the arrival of digital cameras has made the use of older manual flash guns easy, even though you are denied the camera’s DTTL system.

Once upon a time, a flash gun was simply triggered by a camera hotshoe or, off-camera, via its flash synchronisation (synch) socket. Other ‘slave’ flash guns for fill-in or back lighting could be triggered via  simple photoelectric triggers that fit the flash hotshoe and reacts to the main flash pulse with a very slight delay.

To get correct exposure demanded a flash meter – an exposure meter that can respond in a very short time (milliseconds). Readings were transferred from meter to camera and flash gun positions adjusted accordingly. Many professionals in studios used a polaroid film back to get a rapid assessment: with close-up work experiments had to be done with flash gun position noted and frames taken over a range of apertures to find the optimum. Nowadays you can use your camera’s LCD screen to make a visual assessment of exposure.

Eyespots of the wings of the Spanish moonmoth (Graesiella isabella) photographed using a Nikon SB 29 macroflash as a manual gun - designed for a TTL system it did not function with DTTL flash meterin

Eyespots of the wings of the Spanish moonmoth (Graesiella isabella) photographed using a Nikon SB 29 macroflash as a manual gun – designed for a TTL system it did not function with DTTL flash metering so the exposure was tweaked via the camera’s LCD

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