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One thing I enjoy doing is taking pictures of scorpions using a UV-light. Under a UV-beam scorpions glow a vibrant blue-green, lighting up not unlike a white T-shirt under blacklight does. It is surprisingly easy to find scorpions when using a (powerful) UV- light. They will be visible from up to 10 metres (30 feet) away. The best time to look for scorpions is after a hot day and preferably when the wind is blowing as that is the time when scorpions come from their burrows. Shooting scorpions under UV-light is tricky as even a powerful UV-light doesn’t give off a lot of light. This means that you want to shoot at high ISO settings. You’re also probably using a macro lens which means that you have a very shallow depth of field at large apertures, which further complicates matters. That means you’ll need to close down your aperture to f/11 – f/16 in order to get a fair portion of the scorpion in focus. You’ll then either need to go to very high ISO levels (>10000 ISO) or use slow shutter speeds. As scorpions are usually stationary when I take pictures I always choose low shutter speeds. I shoot at anything from 1/8 sec. This means that a lot of images will not be tack sharp. By shooting at high speed (10 frames/sec) I make sure that at least one out of three images is sharp.

When you photograph scorpions keep in mind that they can sting, and that some species are highly venomous. If you’re using a macro lens then you’ll be extremely close to the scorpion and in the heat of the moment it’s easy to forget how dangerous they can be. Also keep in mind that where there’s one scorpion there are probably more of them…


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