"Starfield" Macro Fluorescence with Don Komarechka


Words by Don Komarechka
Edited by Eryka Bagwell

Daisies, family Asteraceae, often have fluorescent pollen. Sunflowers are a part of that family and are no exception. Glowing yellow under an ultraviolet light, the pollen coats the flower petals with illuminated points of light like a field of stars. UV fluorescence photography is really easy to explore, you only need darkness and a UV flashlight!

UVIVF. Let’s break that down: Ultraviolet-induced visible fluorescence. This happens when UV light strikes a subject and is able to excite the electrons in certain atoms. Those electrons rise to a higher orbit, but instantaneously decay back to their original location. This spends a small amount of energy, so the light that is re-emitted from the subject now has less energy. UV light then transforms into visible light, and you can use your ordinary camera and lenses, no special equipment or filters required. The UV flashlight / torch I most commonly recommend is the Convoy S2. It’s all you need to start exploring this wonderful unseen world.
Sunflowers hold a special place in my heart because they tend to fluoresce blue and yellow, while simultaneously being the national flower of Ukraine. Saturday, July 23rd, 2022 marked 150 days since the Russian Federation began to attack and destroy the sovereignty of the largest nation in Europe. I am continuously amazed at the resolve of the Ukrainian people, and I am thrilled to continue to support them in any way we can. Most recently we have contributed funds to purchase a surveillance drone for citizen soldiers, and we have two solar generators on order for use near the front lines. The people of Ukraine are the strongest that I have ever seen in my lifetime, and I’m glad that the world is coming to their aid.

Through this series of images supporting Ukraine, I have encouraged many ways to help. Please be sure to visit Don's Facebook page to learn more about his "Support for Ukraine" series and how you can also help support.

To capture this shot, Don used several Platypod products those have been listed below. Be sure to click here and shop all products where you'll find our eXtreme Macro Bundle which will allow you to shoot similar images to Don's. 
- Platypod Max
- Platypod Extreme
- Four Gooseneck Arms
- 3 Mini Super Clamps (Each clamp was holding a UV flashlight)