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Thread: Help with UV lighting / filters and flash

  1. #1
    Member rays's Avatar
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    30 Jan 2017
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    Help with UV lighting / filters and flash

    Hi guys,

    I am really new to photography but have been asked to take some photos of glow in the dark fishing lures. I found some images that look the way I want them to but i have no idea how to actually take this type of photo. Someone mentioned using UV filters over the lights?

    I really hoping someone on here can give me some pointers to get me started, thanks in advance!

    ** admin - I have removed the photos. You are welcome to repost a LINK to them, but you cannot post photos directly on this site, that you do not own copyright over. Please refer to the Site Rules, thanks*
    Last edited by ricktas; 30-01-2017 at 2:27pm.

  2. #2
    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Most of these 'glow in the dark' lures, need light initially, that they absorb and then 'release' when it is dark. They are not a chemical reaction light (think glow sticks).

    So place them where you want to photograph them, leave a light on them for 10-20 minutes. turn the light off so it is a dark room, and then photograph them, as they emit the light 'stored' in them. I would suggest using a tripod, manual focus etc. Get it all setup and ready while the light is on, then when you turn the light off, take the photos. Using manual focus will stop the camera/lens hunting to focus in the darkness.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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  3. #3
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    @ Rick: yes and no. Some do, others just glow under UV light .. but only when visible light is minimal-zero.

    What I do(or do when I have time too!! ) is use one or two of the two UV torches I have.

    It's best to get two UV light torches, and don't get too skimpy on price .. they can cost you about $50-ish to $100-ish .. depending on what patience you have, photographically speaking!

    The real cheapie cheap stuff could prove to be more frustrating, than fruitful and it's almost certainly going to be due to the power level of the UV led chip used in the torch.

    If the torch has more than 3 led chips(ie. those useless multi led globe types .. it's a cheapie thing that won't work as well.

    What you want to look for(and ebay is a good source for) about a 3w UV LED torch.

    ps. a major word of warning here .. and that's WARNING!!!!! with capitals and lots of exclamation marks after it
    UV LIGHT IS HARMFUL TO THE HUMAN EYE. Use with caution .. which is probably best with UV blocking glasses of some type. NEVER point the UV light at anyone, if you don't want to accelerate their UV blindness.

    With that over, you can get half decent 390nm and 365nm UV torches of fairly decent quality.

    Mine cost me about $50-ish wayy back, so maybe their better/cheaper now(as technology gets better/cheaper :th3)

    A lot of stuff fluoresces under UV light.

    You can see the 390nm spot in a dark room with the naked eye, but the 365nm spot is close to impossible to see.
    Where you can see it is if you point it at (eg) a piece of white printing/copy paper.
    The bleaches used in most copy papers fluoresces brightly.
    Some other paints/dyes/printed stuff also fluoresces brightly under different wavelengths.
    eg. I have a can of air that fluoresces a little with the 390nm torch, but then goes off it's tree with the (hard to see) 365nm torch.

    Interesting stuff to see!

    Many bugs and creatures also fluoresce under UV light. I once had a moth in my kitchen and it look pretty much dull under normal fluoro lights(in the kitchen).
    But that dullness turned crazy mad when I shone the UV light(390nm I think) and the green glowed brightly .. kind'a purply/blue/green.

    FWIW: the 'brand' of torches I just happened to get were called Mastiff.
    But they come in all manner of brands with what appears to be the same torch, same specs and all.

    Note: the handy part of using torches as opposed to dedicated UV lights(which are usually house bound power only) is that you can take them out. For that reason, I eliminated the idea to get more powerful UV lighting myself.

    An important point about getting the torches is the battery they use.
    The need to run Lithiums to get the most out of the LED chips.
    You can get some that run on AA's or 3x AAAs, but as long as the torch body can take an 18650 type lithium, you'll be good to go.
    With that tho, you will also want some 18650 batteries and a charger to suit. I can highly recommend a charger branded Vapcell(either the 2x slot or 4x slot .. I have the 4x slot)

    With the 18650 battery, as opposed to the 3x AAA adapter they may supply, the UV light is significantly brighter. You can use the 3x AAA adapter if you must, but it'll be half power(or actually half the light) output.

    UV light is hard to photograph, and you need about 10x more UV light power to achieve a similar regular exposure. For fluorescence this is less important, but still a consideration to be mindful of.

    Also note: and it warrants repeating that .. UV LIGHT IS DANGEROUS, half the problem is that you can't really see it with the naked eye too, so you don't think it's very bright(like a normal 3x LED light is .. but it's doing UV damage. So just be careful with it.

    If you're a bit limited on funds and getting the two torches is a drain in finances, and you only have the choice of 1 or them, then I'd recommend the more general purpose 390nm.
    But note that the 365nm has it's (specialised) uses, and for the most part it's ability may not appear as amazing. But for some things, it really shines(pun intended )
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon}; -> 50/1.2 : 500/8 : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8 ais : 105mm f/1.8 ais : 24mm/2 ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC

    {Yongnuo}; -> YN35/2N : YN50/1.8N

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