Christmas Advent Calendar – 9/12/14

This is number 4 in the ‘Advent Calendar’ series.

Nigella damascena - UVIVF (macro)
Nigella damascena – UVIVF (macro)

I have an interest in taking pictures of flowers. Particularly closeup shots of them in different light spectra. This is the Nigella damascene.

It was lit only by ultraviolet light. This results in parts of the flower fluorescing in the visible light spectrum, which is then recorded by the camera. Hence the name UV-induced visible fluorescence or UVIVF.

This has to be done in a dark room without any visible light (so the only light captured is the induced fluorescence), and typically requires long exposures of 2.5-3.2 seconds ISO 400. Hence the flower has to be very still.

I tend to shoot the subject with short sections of it in focus and stack them together afterwards with Helicon focus, to get a subject that is nearly or fully in focus. This takes a lot of effort but is worth it.

Some have likened these images to scenes from the movie ‘Avatar’. Perhaps that movie took its inspiration from this type of lighting.