Earlier this year I needed an image of a working bee smoker*. But standard ambient light produced a rather flat image:
What to do? I hid a Canon 430EX speedlight out of view behind the smoker, and when it fired the smoke came alive:
Light does interesting things to smoke. I'm going to have to play with this more.
*The smoker is central to a beekeeper's toolkit, as bees remain calm and more easily worked in the presence of smoke.
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.