Tag Archives: Google

How to make a simple macro flash bracket

Search “macro flash bracket” on Google and you will pull up over 390 000 results. Switch to ‘Image’ search and you will see hundreds of photographs of different commercial and home-made variations of brackets designed for use with macro photography. They vary in degrees from the basic to the bizarre, but they all are meant to achieve one thing: moving the flash off the camera and placing it closer to the subject. In an earlier post, I covered many of the different commercially available units. This time I want to show how to make a simple single-flash bracket.

You need a few parts:


The articulated arm has a removable flash foot. Remove the foot and the knurled spacer until only the 1/4″ screw and tightening-disk is left. Screw this into the end of the straight base bracket (or the cool base bracket) and then tighten the disk securely. If your base bracket has no tapped 1/4″-20 hole, remove the tightening disk, place the screw through the base plate and then tighten on the disk from the bottom. Now add the cold shoe to the top of the articulated arm and tighten. The finished result should look something like this:

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If you have integrated wireless flash, just add the flash to the bracket, pop-up your built-in flash and change the flash menu settings in your camera, and you are ready to go. If you don’t have integrated wireless, you can use a flash cord.

Another option if you don’t have integrated wireless is to purchase wireless transmitter/receiver kits. Slide your flash into the wireless receiver, and attach that to the cold shoe. Attach the wireless trigger to the camera’s hot shoe, position your flash over the focus point, tighten the articulated arm, and you are ready to begin. If you have a macro lens with a tripod mount, you can skip the base plate and go directly to attaching the articulated arm to the tripod mount. Just loosen the mount and turn it so it is on top of the lens, thusly…

Pictured with Yongnuo wireless transmitter/receiver kit.


Don’t forget that flash and flash brackets are just the beginning of gaining more control over lighting. The next step is getting good diffusion, and that will be the subject of another post.





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Posted in Accessories, Canon, Equipment, Flash, macro, photography, Season, Spring Also tagged , , , , , , , |

Update. Wasps and more…

Dolichovespula arenaria, the common aerial yellowjacket.

Dolichovespula arenaria , the common aerial yellowjacket.

◊ The gallery on Dolichovespula arenaria (previously blogged here) has been updated with more photos that were taken in July 2014, including some of the inside of the nest. Go take a gander.

◊ I’ve been working on this new website design for 2015. It is still being refined, but let me know if you find any problems with readability, image display or the design itself.

◊ For those with websites and blogs…broken links can damage your SEO, so it’s worth dealing with them. I have removed dozens of broken links in older posts, with the help of the very useful app ‘Broken Link Checker‘.  It takes a lot of time to dig up replacement links, so I will just have to ignore those for the time being.

That’s all for now, folks.




Posted in Alberta, Blog, Bugs, Canada, Edmonton, Hymenoptera, Insect, Lepidoptera, Links, macro, photography, Shameless self promotion, Vespidae, Web LInk, Winter Also tagged , , , , , , , , , |

Top Posts of 2012

Yesterday, on the 28 of December, Splendour Awaits turned one year old. On that day I said farewell to the old blog, The Bug Whisperer and began a new independent web life.

With a new year ahead, this gives cause to take a look at how the blog has fared. I have already covered the top photos for 2012, but how did the other posts do in the last year? If I ignore the front page, archive and blog home page hits, photos, video shares and public-service type posts, the following are the top 5 articles of 2012:

  1. Leading the pack by far, with 4208 hits, was Carnival of Evolution #45, where I used a Google Presentation to craft a bug-filled showcase of otherwise non-buggy evolution posts from around the web.
  2. The second most popular article was Equipment Foibles — Long Macro Lenses, in which I shared my experience with big macro.
  3. Closely following closely behind in popularity came The Nikon R1 Close-up Speedlight Remote Kit, an elegant and wireless macro flash system.
  4. Oddly enough, Ento. 101: Who? (II) – Aristotle to the end of the 17th century was next in popularity, and now a reminder to me of another unfinished project…
  5. And last, another equipment article, the first in the ongoing series  on Macro Flash Solutions, where I show a simple method of supporting a lightweight flash.

What does all this add up to? Food for thought for the future of Splendour Awaits and how this blog will proceed in 2013…but more on that later.

Posted in Alberta, Amateur Entomologist, Canada, Entomology 101, Equipment, evolution, Flash, History, Lenses, macro, photography, Roundup, Shameless self promotion Also tagged , , , , , , |

Caught by Google Street View

I zoomed in on Google Maps this morning, impressed by how the quality of the images have improved for our neighbourhood. I decided to check the street view. I then ‘strolled’ down our street, and rotated to view my home, and this is what I saw:

I stepped a bit closer…who is that intruder in the garden?

And still closer…

That’s me, somewhat sliced-up by the scan.  I’ve been sneaking-up on myself, (here armed with the Canon 5D Mk II with the 70-300mm f4-5.6 L IS USM lens on a 20mm extension tube, all supported by my old Manfrotto 055 tripod) recording bugs visiting flowers in the garden.

Good thing I was dressed for the occasion…


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Posted in Alberta, Canada, Edmonton, Equipment, garden, photography, Season, Summer Also tagged , , , , |

The Week on Sunday 12

Another collection of buggy links that emerged in the last week:

Like beetles much?

TheFamilyguy421 found this swarm on a residential eucalyptus tree in New South Wales, Australia.

Looks like the green soldier beetle (Thank Google!) a predator of eucalyptus leaf beetles. Apparently they swarm for mating and/or prior to mass dispersal flights.

Alex Wild has a print sale! You have until January 1 to take advantage of the super-low pricing for a select group of images, like this one:


◊ Brian Switek, the dinosaur bloke over at Laelaps shared a recent fossil discovery: a hangingfly (Order Mecoptera) that appears to mimic Gingko leaves.

That’s the scorpionfly in C, D, H and I…

Read the complete article at Laelaps, and for more of the science behind the discovery, read the Open Access article:

Yongjie Wang, Conrad C. Labandeira, Chungkun Shih, Qiaoling Ding, Chen Wang, Yunyun Zhao, and Dong Ren. Jurassic mimicry between a hangingfly and a ginkgo from China PNAS 2012 ; published ahead of print November 26, 2012, doi:10.1073/pnas.1205517109

Note that Laelaps will be finding a new home soon, so if you are interested in the latest palaentological views, watch for news of  Brian’s new blogging location.


Another blogger that likes to blog bugs is Ed Yong over at Not Exactly Rocket Science. Ed latest post is on the the wasps that lay eggs on wasps that lay eggs on caterpillars that eat cabbages. And it turns out that the cabbages signal their distress when being munched by caterpillars, which gets the whole parisitoid/hyperparisitoid ball rolling…

Read the complete article at Enter the Hyperparisites, and see the Open Access science at:

Poelman, Bruinsma, Zhu, Weldegergis, Boursault, Jongema, van Loom, Vet, Harvey & Dicke. 2012. Hyperparasitoids Use Herbivore-Induced Plant Volatiles to Locate Their Parasitoid Host. PLoS Biology.


◊ And to close, a bit of bug inspired music by Nancy Tucker, as she follows the seasons on her guitar:


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Posted in Behaviour, Blog Link, Bugs, Coleoptera, Fossil, Insect, Week on Sunday, Winter Also tagged , , , , , , , , |