It Starts with "B"

It Starts with "B" by S Migol
It Starts with "B", a photo by S Migol on Flickr.
Via Flickr:

This is submitted for the Macro Mondays challenge of "It Starts with B" for Monday, February 4, 2013.

This is a macro image of the puffer bulb that I use to keep my optics and sensor clean. It's a trusty little device that has served me very well.

Here I'm holding it in front of my camera. On the right is a flash, snooted and gridded at 1/16 power. This is the source of the reflection off the black rubber and nozzle. High and to the right are two additional flashes at 1/16 as well to give fill and light the background. I measured the light to ensure that I could use the F stop I wanted to give decent depth of field.

Taken with the Pentax K10D camera with the SMC PENTAX-DA 1:2.8 35mm Macro Limited lens. PP with LR3 to convert from RAW and upload.

A little history on this device.  Back in 2004, I got a telescope from Orion and liked using it a lot.  Some time later, I picked up one of their optics care kits.  It had this puffer bulb plus some other tools in it.  Of all the parts that were included, this has remained in use.  It's smaller than the rocket blower so it fits in my pocket or camera bag.

I have noticed that if I put the blower directly against a multi-coated filter, it will spray a fine mist of something that leaves a smudge.  I guess it's slowly breaking down inside.  This is probably the source of the fine dots on the CCD sensor of my IR camera.  I can only see these dots under extreme measurement conditions - taking flats with a pinhole.

I'm happy enough with this shot.  I wanted to get some reflection off the black rubber, which is why I snooted and gridded the flash to the right.  The other two flashes were providing environmental lighting so that it wasn't all reflection.  Had to use both light stands plus the tripod.

In the end, I only had to do one small touch up in LR.  There was a fiber visible on the black and thus it had to be cloned out.  The rest of the shot was set up in camera.