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Wim van Egmond
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Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 9:28 am
Location: Berkel en Rodenrijs, the Netherlands


Post by Wim van Egmond »

The trouble with stacking is that it is a lot of work and it is not always possible to see what the result will be. This fly looked nice and at first I was pleased with the result but when I was trying to figure out which kind of fly it was I couldn't find a fly with such a face. I think it is because the face has shrunk. So I guess it is a bit worthless now. :(


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Post by jmlphoto »

is it dead? great texture on the skin. how many pictures in the stack? 8)

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Location: Germany, in the United States of Europe

Post by Planapo »

Excellent photograph, a pleasure to look at, thanks for posting! Like some of Charlie´s work it reminds me a bit of coloured SEM pictures - on a par with those SEM pictures in terms of detail but better in colour since these are natural colours. =D>

BTW, a "shrunk face" shouldn´t thwart any further ID of this schizophoran fly if the rest of the body is okay, especially the wings. It could be that your fly specimen has just eclosed and its ptilinum, (a balloon-like sac that is puffed out from the head of hatching schizophoran flies to help the fly to emerge from the puparium and, if necessary, to help to escape the substratum the pupa had been resting in) has just been retracted, and hence a little shriveling of the soft head integument around the ptilinal suture should be common in case of a freshly hatched fly as well as it should be for an older dried specimen.

Now, as I´m currently trying to compile the optics for such kind of shots it would be nice to know what lenses you´ve been using... if you don´t mind, Wim.:D


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Post by tpe »

Looks wonderfull to me, great results from the stacking too, for someone who says they are not too technical it looks pretty technically perfect to me :).

Err and about the shrinking face, what Betty said, it may also be worth having a look at one emerging from its pupa, it is quite horrific sometimes watching their heads pulsate.

BTW i have seen your work before and always thought it was fantastic, (actually it is probably your fault i have just gone and bought a microscope ;) ). It is good to put a name to the pictures.


Wim van Egmond
Posts: 826
Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 9:28 am
Location: Berkel en Rodenrijs, the Netherlands

Post by Wim van Egmond »

Thank you for the supportive words, Bety, Tim and JML!!!

So it looks as if this image is useful after all. :) I have seen that strange balloon in a movie, never in reality.

I still have the insect so I should be able to figrue out more by looking at the wing veins. It looks a bit like a Calliphorid. I have some more flies I have difficulty to identify so perhaps I will post some more to see some of you can perhaps help me.

Yes, unfortunately I had to immobilise the insect in order to make the 80 or so images for this stack. I used helicon Focus. I don't know any other application for the Mac.

As with photomicrography I always try to portray the organisms as life like as possible so I want to avoid unrealistic portraits. And whith a dead insect (it's sad that this technique requiers it) it is not easy to get them in the right shape. the trick is to make good close ups of the head and not too much of the legs, which give it away as a corpse. :)

By the way, about the killing of insects. It is always less killing than what a car's wind shield manages daily. {-o<

Rik also asked me for a bit more technical information. Hey, that is a companies secret so :-$

I could also put a bit of this in the technical forum but for now this is what I use:

I use an old Leitz Photar 25 mm loupe objective on bellows, a D200 camera. Two flashes (might seem inconvenient but it elliminates motion blur and works fast, I have a cold light spurce but the lamp burned and I am too lazy to buy a new one) As a diffusor a white plastic soup cup! Tasty! :) The soup cup is a bit wider and gives you a bit more space around the insect. I like the ping pong ball solution of Charlie but I think that is more suitable for the micro lens stacks.

I have tried to use a microscope lens in the past but that was before digital photoghraphy and I made a little cardboard aperture and got quite o.k. shots with this. I should try it again without an aperture to see if it is gives better stacking results.

I took some time to go through the technical forum on this subject and saw some interesting tricks. Like making a cardboard lens shade! I will try that!

Also nice to see the Photar lens I use in the list of Tom and the best magnifications done with that lens. Thanks!!!!

I should put a bit more time into this. I often use 'sticky tape technology' That's also what I mean when I say that I am not very technical. My set ups are often a bit inconveniently build. Like, when I make photomicrographs (don't laugh!) I stand on a chair. I have everything parfocal but in order to make the right composition I prefer to look through the view finder. There is still a lot of things to improve. But making an image technically correct has a lot to do with the right way of illumincating, the right exposure and most importantly the exact framing: the composition.

Gee, I have been quiet for too long. :) I guess I am overdoing it now.


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Post by beetleman »

Wim, it is a beautiful photo....amazing detail & clarity. Do you give them a bath and a blowdry before you take the pictures (like charles) :wink: :lol:
Take Nothing but Pictures--Leave Nothing but Footprints.
Doug Breda

Wim van Egmond
Posts: 826
Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 9:28 am
Location: Berkel en Rodenrijs, the Netherlands

Post by Wim van Egmond »

I have tried blow drying insects but they land in the carpet and will be dustier than before. :) But when you catch them outdoors (I use plastic photocontainers for that, as long as these will be available) they will be very clean.


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