Light on Black

At the moment I still am quite fascinated by the specimens collection of the School of Life Sciences. The variety of stuffed and pickled animals as well as skeletons and bits and pieces like feather or jawbones never disappoint. This combined with the chance of having a fully equipped photo studio at my disposal at university has let me experiment with different ways of lighting subjects.

Mainly I have been practicing the use of flashguns. These were especially handy when taking photos whilst working with a white background and a white, translucent underground. This for example was the case two weeks ago, when I was photographing the butterfly collection.

This week I wanted to work with a black back- and underground and chose to photograph a few light-coloured subjects, namely bird skulls. I started taking photos using my trusty flashguns but found that the photos were not coming out as I wanted them to. Luckily, right then, one of my fellow students came into the studio and after a short chat helped me set up the LED studio lighting, of which I had not been aware. So, thanks to her and these lights, I managed to achieve the results I had been aiming for and which can be seen below. I am always happy to keep on learning…

Skull of a Picus viridis – Green woodpecker*


Views of an Owl skull – presumably of an Athene noctua (Little owl)*


Detail of a feather of a Strix occidentalis – Spotted owl



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