Scavenger Hunt #33 – Backlight

Close-up of a slice of lime with back lighting displaying transluscent details of the lime structure.

While I used the previous Hunt to experiment with composites and story-telling, I wanted to go “back to basics” for this Hunt, and try to get maybe closer from my comfort zone, but also closer to pictures that feel like “me”. But, for the personal challenge, I shot everything with my 100mm macro lens!

The “Backlight” theme was an occasion to experiment with something I wanted to do for quite some time, namely see-through photography that would enable to see greater details and colors – it’s a fairly common exercise in macro and food photography. For all its commonality, thought, finding a (written) tutorial on the matter proved difficult, if not impossible – so it was time for me to put the thinking hat on! We almost always have limes home for, err, mixology reasons, so my subject was pretty much a given (I did consider buying a kiwi – another popular fruit to photograph that way!)

It took me an embarrassing amount of time to realize I didn’t have to prop my slice of lime vertically to photograph it. Instead, I came up with the following contraption, starring my faithful piece of black fabric, a makeshift light tripod holding a Lume cube with a funnel, two chairs holding a transparent dish (with the help of a little masking tape)… and the slice of lime.

Photography setup: a black piece of fabric, a support for a funneled light, two chairs propping a transparent dish containing a slice of lemon. The setup enables for lemon slice to be lit from below.

Once the setup was done, it was mostly a matter of tuning the alignment of the light and the slice of lime, tune the exposure to avoid blowing whites, and taking a bunch of pictures to get one that was sharp.

Unprocessed version of the lime slice picture above. It has a larger black border, a reflection at the bottom, it's far less colorful and it has distracting light showing around it.
CameraPentax K-1 II
Lenssmc PENTAX-D FA MACRO 100mm F2.8 WR
Focal length100 mm
F-NumberF/5.6
Exposure time1/500
ISO500

Editing required a bit of Photoshop to get better masks so that I could get rid of the distracting light leaks; if not for that, it would have been “crop + color correction + removing a few dots and dust”.

The complete Scavenger album is available here: the Backlight album.

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