Someone kindly suggested to me that another fly looking across might be interesting... so I gave it a shot. It certainly works for me =). So this is, I think, a pair of greenbottles (not bluebottles, I promise you they look green compared to the bluebottle I compared them to at the time!), they're rather mundane creatures but not without a certain aesthetic appeal when you look at them like this. A blue background: a different blue to last time which is gradiented towards purple. I wanted a bit more vibrancy and I think this gave it to me!
Posing this wasn't easy. I used the Watkins & Doncaster Insect Examination Stage with some cork cut out in a 2 cm by 1/2 cm by 1/2 cm strip mounted at the tip. Then I cut a groove into the cork for each mounted insect according to the angle which I needed for the shot. Each of these insects were mounted on a thick black ent pin. Then I fiddled, swore and cursed for 30 mins to get them parallel and in the positions I wanted, cutting off the end of the pins that went beyond the cork so that it could all fit into the chip cone diffuser. These chip cones are handy because they're shaped so that they diverge so allow relatively big things inside the diffuser (mine just sits on the end of the lens with a custom reverse lenscap made from a black party popper) but they're also the right shape so that there's stilll enough omnidirectional light of a similar intensity (because of similar distances, not quite a perfect hemisphere but better than other things I tried). With close flashes I get away with 1/32 and 1/64.
Technical: Gradient in CS4 piped into SmallHD using HDMI matrix used as ambient lighting for the background; subject has rear curtain sync. 1s exposures; 121 photos into 34 sub stacks, retouched from Dmap composite, finished off with CS4 & Topaz Detail. Step size of 30µm, polystyrene chip cone diffuser. Cropped then resized 10% to lessen noise. Componon 35 f/4 reversed on flat bellows so about 1:1; 3 flashes @1/32 perpendicular @2,6.30 &10 o clock.
Note - first upload here, apologies it's a cut and paste from my Flickr but I just wanted to see what this site is like. Thank you!