Here's How: Backlit Frogfish

For my second Here’s How image, I wanted to show an example of using a a tool that most macro shooters have with them on every dive: a focus light. While these are useful for many things, they can and should be used to help add some creative lighting opportunities to your photography. Here is a photo I made of a Hairy Frogfish in the Philippines by mixing a single strobe fit with a snoot and an off camera torch.


After I spent some time photographing this subject using a single open strobe, and dual open strobes in various positions (inward facing, top down, etc), I wanted to make some images using a single snoot but with the addition of an off camera light. The light I used was my Kraken Hydra 2500 Macro light, which is a constant on 2500 lumen LED light.

After getting an image I was pleased with using only the single snooted strobe, I added the Kraken 3500 to the mix. By placing it behind the subject and off to the right of my camera, I was able to provide some subtle backlighting which provided some highlights to the frogfish.

This is an exceedingly simple technique (if you could even call it that). Many subjects, and most certainly any with textures such as a hairy frogfish, are well suited to some subtle backlighting to accentuate the highlights. If nothing else it will give your images a different look to the usual front/side/top strobe position so commonly used for macro subjects.