For this image I increased the focus depth-resolution and also slightly changed the Helicon Focus stacking parameters for a little more detail.
As it has been drizzling all day I have been doing some microscopy while my wife worked in the greenhouse. Knowing I was working with the microscope she brought me in a dead butterfly from the greenhouse. It went straight under the microscope for a 22-frame focus-stacked image stitched together using that brilliant piece of software Helicon Focus.
The irridescent blue seen in this macrophoto of a Morpho Rhetenor butterfly is due to structural colour – not pigment. The butterfly’s wing scales have microstructure which act like a specialised diffraction grating, so it is an interference/diffraction grating effect that gives the striking blue colour – visible over a wide range of angles. It is in fact an example of a natural photonic crystal structure – something that I researched for a few years at the University of Southampton. Possibly one of the most impressive Icons of Science meeting Art 🙂
See my 20-page Review Article titled “Biomimetically Inspired Photonic Nanomaterials” for more information.
And here’s a video of the nesting Blue Tits taken with the Canon 5D MkII the 100-400mm zoom lens and the 2x teleconverter. Manual focus, ISO 100, program mode. This video is an MP4 conversion and is only around 20Mb or so in size – the original HD video straight off the camera is around 2Gb and of much higher quality. Seeing these little guys full screen and in tight focus on the monitor is pretty amazing.
Here are a few seconds at the Blue Tits’ nest box with the Sony video camera and its native 18-200mm lens (which is an exceptional lens!).
I am about to try out the Canon 100-400mm zoom lens with the 2x extender on the same camera – should be interesting 🙂