St Mark's fly (female)

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Bruce Williams
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St Mark's fly (female)

Post by Bruce Williams »

Hi folks,

I took this pic this evening and must confess that I didn't recognise the species (in fact I thought it was a beetle :oops: ). Anyway, it's a female St Mark's fly Bibio venosus (males have huge bulbous eyes), named because they first appear around 25th April (st Mark's day) and are seen for just a couple of weeks. The female is larger than the male at ~14mm.

It was quite a difficult shot as the fly was only about 6 inches from the ground and light levels in the wood were quite low.

Minolta A2, ISO 100, hand held: 1/15s at f/5.6

Bruce

Image

DaveW
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Post by DaveW »

Nice picture Bruce, and an interesting fly.

DaveW

beetleman
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Post by beetleman »

It looks like you did a great job on a tricky subject Bruce. I can see how you could think it was a beetle :wink: . there is lots of details on the fly and it looks like you have plenty of DOF.
Take Nothing but Pictures--Leave Nothing but Footprints.
Doug Breda

Mike B in OKlahoma
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Post by Mike B in OKlahoma »

What a strange-looking critter, I've not seen anything like it. Good capture in the very low light, I was going to criticize your choice of f/5.6 till I saw the shutter speed! This type of situation is why I just give up to the dark side (not Nikon, not THAT dark! :twisted: ) and use flash for most of my closeup work. But from the way the body and wings look, that would've had glare problems for this subject.

Congrats on showing a very different insect.
Mike Broderick
Oklahoma City, OK, USA

Constructive critiques of my pictures, and reposts in this forum for purposes of critique are welcome

"I must obey the inscrutable exhortations of my soul....My mandate includes weird bugs."
--Calvin

Ken Ramos
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Post by Ken Ramos »

Dark or dark and shinny insects are really a challange there Bruce and you did good with this one. :D Usually I avoid shooting things like this and I guess I shouldn't, because if I don't shoot them I will never learn how to. I find myself all the time worrying over whether or not I have blown the whites or highlights in images that I happen to take and that seems to be enough for now I guess. :lol: Good job there Bruce :D

Bruce Williams
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Post by Bruce Williams »

Thanks for your encouraging comments guys.

I must admit to being quite pleased with this pic. I had to lay flat-out on my side, bracing the camera against a short stick as a makeshift monopod. In all I took about a dozen shots, slightly varying EV compensation (on some) and trying like mad to fire the shutter without introducing camera movement. Checking them on screen when I got home I found four that were worth keeping - this one is the best.

Bruce :D

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

Bruce, this is nice work under difficult circumstances!
Mike B in OKlahoma wrote:I was going to criticize your choice of f/5.6 till I saw the shutter speed!
Mike, bear in mind also that the Minolta A2 uses a small sensor -- only 8.8 x 6.6 mm. Due to scaling laws previously discussed at length, f/5.6 on that camera, for this shot, gives DOF more like f/16 using a DSLR. You can see from the sharpness of the capture that the DOF is fine. Any smaller would have made the shot more difficult without improving the result.

--Rik

Bruce Williams
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Post by Bruce Williams »

Thanks Rik - I find your technical input very helpful.

Bruce :D

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