• Ultraviolet Photography

Elaeagnus umbellata [Autumn Olive]

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#1 Mark


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Posted 03 November 2017 - 22:38

Near the end of this summer a friend at work pointed out to me that these berries are edible - and I was surprised, not only because they were apparently quite common/easy to find, but also because until that point I had never even noticed them before. Or maybe I did and just subconsciously wrote them off as inedible, and therefore uninteresting. I don't know. Either way, yes - they are edible, and they are not hard to find. In fact, I just read this species is not only naturalized here in the states, but its also considered an invasive species in some areas. Personally, I don't mind having them around.

In VIS they look a little tastier than they actually are.
Attached Image: 10-03-2017_18-30-50.jpg

They don't look at all appetizing under UV.
Attached Image: 10-03-2017_18-13-51_andreaU-blb.jpg

The UVIVF view looks a bit too psychedelic to be eaten on a school night ;).
Attached Image: 10-03-2017_18-17-50_kv418stack-2xmte.jpg

I was hoping for greater translucence in the IR image. Alas, this hobby is hit or miss in that respect (and that's part of the fun - for me).
Attached Image: 10-03-2017_18-22-49_r72.jpg

On the other hand, the UVIIF made an interesting image - really bringing out those spots.
Attached Image: 10-03-2017_18-27-55_r72-uviif-mtes.jpg

In an earlier post (here) I found that pokeweed berry juice is strongly fluorescent in VIS and IR, so I thought to see if this was the case here as well. I snipped a berry open, and a small amount of juice flowed out (see inset below). What I found is - no. Autumn berry juice did not VIS fluoresce (UVIVF).
Attached Image: 10-05-2017_18-33-15_uvivf.jpg

Maybe it does fluoresce in IR though (UVIIF)? Again - no. Its even more transparent here.
Attached Image: 10-05-2017_18-49-21_uvivf.jpg

Several minutes later these, and the rest of the berries waiting on the side, were all eaten by the photographer. And they didn't taste at all 'invasive' :P.

Shooting info:
- Nikon D750 [broadband] + 50 mm Nikon Series E lens + 20 mm extension tube
Lens filters
- UV: AndreaU-MKII
- VIS & UVIVF: KV418 + 420 nm LP + Baader UV-IR cut [stack]
- IR & UVIIF: Hoya Y(K2) + R72 [stack]

- VIS: White LED bulb
- UV: 4 x 18" T8BL-B + FL-02 glass
- UVIVF & UVIIF: 2 x [MTE-U303 + Hoya U340]
- IR: 40 W incandescent clear glass bulb

- ISO 320-500
- 1/10-20 s
- f11

#2 Andy Perrin


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Posted 03 November 2017 - 23:45

Mark, if you want to see the IR translucence better, you should backlight the berry with a penlight. With the exception of pokeweed (which is truly transparent, not just translucent), most of the berries I've tried will go translucent at least and you can see the seeds that way. With light from the front, the berry skin just scatters the light off the surface.

#3 Mark


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Posted 04 November 2017 - 02:00

I agree, backlighting would work better to achieve greater translucence/transparency, but my intention is in part to have consistency of illumination (e.g., source angle) both within a given set and from one set to the next. I believe this allows for more direct comparison/contrast of the results in each waveband.

#4 Andy Perrin


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Posted 04 November 2017 - 04:03

Yeah, but I think you should adjust that! You can shoot a couple of extra shots if you want to see the insides of the berries. Is this meant to be some kind of consistent dictionary of fruits, or are you just trying to take pictures?

#5 Mark


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Posted 04 November 2017 - 14:53

I'm not sure what 'just trying to take pictures' means (don't we takes pictures for some reason/purpose, like most anything else?). Certainly its not just the pressing of a camera button I seek - there are lots of buttons out there in the world to press, some good, some bad. Some mysterious, with unknown consequence - those are the most alluring! But I digress... I wouldn't say that I'm building a compendium of any particular subject/target. What I want to be able to do though, is to make roughly direct comparisons of [any/all] subjects. I know there practically can't be a real direct comparison, given the nature of the exercise, but at least having the light coming from the same direction/distance/etc removes at least one variable. I do take your point though... I could expand my multispectral sets. Originally they were 4x: UV/UVIVF/VIS/IR. Then I added a fifth component, UVIIF. I could add a sixth component - a 'cross section' of -X. Now that I think of it, that could actually add an entire subset, having cross section-UV, -UVIVF, -VIS, -IR, and -UVIIF. Great - I'm going to be up to 10x for a 'full' set! This is becoming almost a second job - good thing I enjoy doing it :)

#6 Andy Perrin


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Posted 04 November 2017 - 20:42

I really just meant how casual are you being, or is there some kind of book "Mark's Berries (Vol I)" in mind. Don't use that title, it sounds awkward. :)

I do agree that if you try to strictly take the exact same photo for every subject then it will be comparable but you will have a large amount of work on your hands. I don't see why you have to work in that straitjacket, though. It's a self-imposed constraint that is going to become more and more limiting. Why not just stick to your core set for comparing but shoot a few extra that take advantage of the uniquenesses of your subjects?

#7 Mark


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Posted 04 November 2017 - 21:53

I agree. While I'm not one to shy away from putting in the effort for a job well done, I could just include one-off's for special subjects.

And should I choose to write a book someday, I'll try to remember to think of another title - whether for berries or not.

#8 Andrea B.

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 20:49

Berries I Have Seen Through the Years
The Big Book of UVIR Berries
The Exciting Berries of Massachusetts
UVIIF Berries: Illustration of a New Paradigm

OK, I am sorry!! It is a very dull, damp, dim day here. So I wandered into a dull title fantasy.

Fact o' the matter is that I LOVE these berry botanicals.
It is amazing the variety of UV, UVI-VF and UVI-IF presentations which Mark has found.

Mark, do please be sure that you know what poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac berries look like!!! I found myself reaching for a twig of poison ivy berries one time. Yikes! I've already had poison ivy rash too.many.times.
Andrea G. Blum
Often found hanging out with flowers & bees.

#9 Cadmium


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Posted 07 November 2017 - 03:17

Mark, Very nice!

#10 Andy Perrin


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Posted 07 November 2017 - 03:47

Berry, Berry Good: A Multispectral Recipe Book ("Sheds a whole new light on the subject!")

#11 JCDowdy


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Posted 07 November 2017 - 16:55

Berry enlightening