Macro Flower captures in UV with Rain Hayes

Words by Rain Hayes
Edited by Eryka Bagwell

"I like to photograph with alternative light sources. Infrared and ultraviolet light reveal unusual colors and detail, and cause certain subjects to ‘glow.’ I am experimenting with UV macro flower portraits, and recently converted my bathroom into a UV studio. Don’t laugh! It’s the only completely dark room in the house, and actually makes a pretty ideal space for the purpose."

"What you can laugh at, though, is that I spent months hand-holding the UV lights (and holding my breath) for minutes at a time while I made long exposures and focus stacks. This worked okay but the limitations were quickly apparent. Then a friend introduced me to Platypod, and my whole game changed."

"Let me tell you about “Rain’s Rig,” my all-in-one multi-light source, subject and background holder setup. Using the Elbows, Goosenecks and Mini Super Clamps, I can perfectly position as many lights as I want (while breathing freely!) The gentle but firm grip of the Mini Super Clamp is ideal for holding delicate flower stems, too. Minute adjustments to the position of the subject can be an easier and faster option than repositioning the tripod and camera. I love this new setup, and enjoy finding new ways to exploit its versatility and advance my creativity."

"When I’m not in the powder room UV studio, I’m often photographing Bay Area landscapes in glorious infrared with my Extreme, Handle and Ergo at the ready. Leaving behind the traditional tripod has made those steep, muddy hikes a bit easier and more enjoyable."

You can see my UV and infrared photography at



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