By  Paul Harcourt Davies  Backlighting: – Adding a Bit of Magic: A single gun behind and to the side of a subject creates a rim light that accentuates hairs on flower stems or on insects – it is a little bit of magic that raises the game and your pictures go to a different level.  With radio controlled systems it is easy – a manual gun with a photoelectric trigger works, too, since the lighting is not critical but avoid placing it too close to the subject…

By  Paul Harcourt Davies Over the decades that I have used and built flash systems for close-up work, my goal has not changed – namely, to create a set-up that is portable, reliable, consistent, robust and works on as near a ‘point-and-shoot’ basis as possible. I want to concentrate on the subject not the gear: my prime interest is in the natural world and its inhabitants. What follows, is the first of a series of posts dedicated to that approach,  looking at various practical options and overcoming potential problems with…

I had a great time in Miami last week filming lessons for my upcoming on-line series on photographing insects and other invertebrates for Craftsy. However, our excellent cinematographer Marshall Rosales had mixed feelings about this Silver Argiope (Argiope argentata)! I photographed this spider and its prey using the Sigma 15mm 2.8 diagonal fisheye lens and two off-camera flashes. The class will be available in a few weeks!

By Clay Bolt, Each year, beginning in late summer and moving into fall, there is a particular Beech Tree (Fagus grandifolia) that is inundated with Beech Blight Aphids (Grylloprociphilus imbricator). When these aphids are young, they cover the tree’s limbs and leaves with thousands of their fuzzy white bodies, which seem to “dance” if you get too close. This had led to coining of another common name, the “Boogie-Woogie Aphid.” Ants and wasps are drawn to the copious amounts of honeydew that the insects excrete and some, such…