I have two flashes, hand-me-downs from my daughter, that fit the old Olympus camera. But I couldn't get them into the shoe on the little Nikon I'm using, until today; the problem was an almost invisible second adjusting ring. Once I found it, half a turn did the trick. I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening testing the smaller flash out. (The big one is about three times the size of the camera, and twice its weight. It will work with a tripod, but live bugs and hermit crabs don't stay put that well.)
With a macro lens attached to the camera (even my little homemade item), the on-camera flash creates a dark shadow that covers the creature I'm focusing on. The extra angle on the new flash, five inches above the lens, makes a big difference. And I modified my light box to a light cone, to redirect the light. Then I took over a hundred test shots of a wasp that I caught months ago, and couldn't get any decent photos of.
A few sample shots:
|Unidentified wasp, 1.5 cm long. Very dusty and dessicated, but not too damaged.|
|I love those yellow and black, curly antennae!|
|Zooming in. No depth of field at this range.|
I haven't identified this, nor did I send any photos to BugGuide when it was new; my photos were just black on black, with no distinguishing features. I'll send in these, see what they say.
Tomorrow, we're going to Tsawwassen for a pottery sale. It will be Laurie's first outing since his fall. I hope the sun shines!