No animals were hurt in the creation of this article. My wife always keeps an eye out for interesting subjects from our yard. This little Ground Snake which eats bugs, scorpions, crickets and more was in this exact position when it passed away. Not sure if it drowned or what, but it made for an interesting subject.
When I brought the snake into the studio I wasn’t sure what the final image would look like. Experimentation time! Yay! I enjoy trying to create something interesting with whatever subject I am working.
In this case, I chose a piece of glass with a white card underneath and the opposite, a black piece of plastic for background choices. I wanted to use a single light and see what the possibilities were.
I used a single light, a Zhiyun Molus X100 with a small reflector and a small circular rubber diffuser. Check my review of the X100 here. A white card was used for fill.
The snake and Helicon Focus
FYI the Ground Snake was about 6 inches long and was in approximately this position when we found it on our driveway. You would think focus stacking would not be necessary. But using a macro lens at a medium aperture made this project work. The E-M1 Mark III has a built in focus stacking system. I set the capture for 55 images and with one push of the shutter they were all captured in RAW format. A pro tip is to place something just in front of your subject to set focus to ensure full focus on the image. Before I started doing that sometimes the front of the subject was just a wee bit soft.
I ended up with three different backgrounds using only the single light and two surfaces. The white background was obvious. Changing the angle of the white fill card differentiated the two black backgrounds. The single main light stayed in the same position for all photos.
As always if you have any thoughts or comments drop them down below.
Yours in Creative Photography, Bob