Eastern tent caterpillars, Malacosoma americanum, photographed at Raven Run Nature Sanctuary, Kentucky (Click to view large)
What is the secret to the evenly balanced exposure across both the foreground and background in this fisheye photograph?
It is not a clever processing job in photoshop. Rather, I used a handheld flash set to sufficient power to bring the foreground caterpillars up to the same light levels as the sky. Fill flash is an effective technique. In the absence of a flash I could either expose for the sky, leaving the caterpillars in the dark:
Or, I could expose for the caterpillars, leaving the sky blown out:
Careful use of flash allows the best of both worlds, with a minimum of digital correction.
Sigma 10mm f/2.8 EX DC HSM Fisheye Lens on a Canon EOS 6D
Lighting: Canon 430 EXII Speedlite with a Lastolite Ezybox diffuser
The views expressed are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Alex Wild is Curator of Entomology at the University of Texas at Austin, where he studies the evolutionary history of ants. In 2003 he founded a photography business as an aesthetic complement to his scientific work, and his natural history photographs appear in numerous museums, books and media outlets.