Beautiful Eyes

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Tony T
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Beautiful Eyes

Post by Tony T »

In North America the commonest species of horse flies (Diptera: Tabanidae) are in the genera Hybomitra and Tabanus.
The former are basically northern, the latter southern. All have beautiful eyes worthy of photographers' efforts. Not always easy to separate the 2 genera but Hybomitra spp. have hairy eyes with 3 or 4 stripes see: HERE;
Tabanus have bare eyes with fewer, if any, stripes.
New Brunswick species include
1) Tabanus similis; somewhat odd for a Tabanus
Image


2) Tabanus nigrovittatus

Image

beetleman
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Post by beetleman »

Another excellent set of fly face photos Tony. Great work. They always remind me of bad reception on an old TV :wink:
Take Nothing but Pictures--Leave Nothing but Footprints.
Doug Breda

Tony T
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Post by Tony T »

Thanks Doug.
You probably have about 75 spp. of tabanids in NH all with great eyes and all in need of decent photos.
As an added bonus you have the North American authority on tabanids in the person of Dr. John Burger, University of NH.
Tabanids are relatively easy to capture, they love people and their vehicles especially trucks.

Ken Ramos
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Post by Ken Ramos »

I have never had the pleasure of coming eye to eye with a horse fly of any kind as I know of, though I did nail one with a 2 X 4 once :twisted: after it bit or "urpped" on me. :lol: Some really neat shots there Tony, the eyes are quite unusual. :D

Tony T
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Post by Tony T »

Ken Ramos wrote:I did nail one with a 2 X 4 once
2x4 works but you will find an insect net leaves them in better condition for photography. You must have at least 100 species in NC. You must use some pretty effective bug repellent not to get up close and personal with a tabanid

Ken Ramos
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Post by Ken Ramos »

Tony replied:
You must use some pretty effective bug repellent not to get up close and personal with a tabanid
Well lets just say I was pretty good in track and field years ago. I am still pretty fast on my feet. :lol:

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

Very nice images, Tony!

All produced in that setup you showed us over in the Technique column?

--Rik

Tony T
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Post by Tony T »

rjlittlefield wrote:Very nice images, Tony!

All produced in that setup you showed us over in the Technique column?

--Rik
Hi Rik:
I photographed most of the New Brunswick species of tabanids this year with that set-up, for my planned Tabanids of Eastern Canada.
3 final shots for each species, a dorsal, a lateral, and a face as seen in the deer fly montage. HERE

Before 2007 I was using a Nikon D70 but upgraded to the D2Xs in 2007 and then decided that I had to re-shoot all the species (better images from the D2Xs); sort of nice to know that the increased cost of the D2Xs was worth it.
I played around with various lens set-ups but the simplest, and as good or better than the alternatives, was a:
Nikon 105mm AF Micro Nikkor + 4T close-up lens, f16, SB 800 flash, mirror locked up, 30 sec. delay, rear curtain flash syn. @ 1sec. and about 15 images stacked with Helicon Focus using Radius 4, Smoothing 2.
I saw recently that someone was using R 24, S 4; what do you use?
I did try using Nikon's SB-R200 wireless remote speedlights (with a 4" tube instead of the current 2") but at 45 images/insect they were eating up batteries; the SB800 uses rechargeables.

For the larger Horse Flies I didn't need the 4T close-up lens, the AF 105 mm gave large enough images.

Cyclops
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Post by Cyclops »

Wow,great alien images! I think the genus Tabanus is the one we get in England.
Canon 5D and 30D | Canon IXUS 265HS | Cosina 100mm f3.5 macro | EF 75-300 f4.5-5.6 USM III | EF 50 f1.8 II | Slik 88 tripod | Apex Practicioner monocular microscope

Tony T
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Post by Tony T »

Cyclops wrote:Wow,great alien images! I think the genus Tabanus is the one we get in England.
Thanks. England is not very species rich in tabanids. I think you get about 20 spp. in 5 genera:
Tabanus, Hybomitra, Atylotus, Haematopota, Chrysops. Keep an eye out for them.

Planapo
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Post by Planapo »

Very good images there, Tony! Thanks for sharing them with us. :D

I do always keep an eye out for Tabanidae, especially Chrysops because if a Chrysops bites me, I will develop ginormous swellings, almost turning me partly into an elephant (wo)man! :smt087
So, to tell the truth, I prefer them on a Czech needle. :wink:

Cheers,
Betty

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

Tony T wrote: ...about 15 images stacked with Helicon Focus using Radius 4, Smoothing 2.
I saw recently that someone was using R 24, S 4; what do you use?
I usually end up going with default, R 8, S 4. If artifacts are troubling, I'll play around with other settings, usually bigger numbers like R 20, S 4. This is with full size 3072x2048 images from my Canon 300D.

I seem to recall that one member routinely renders twice with different settings, then combines the two composites manually.

--Rik

salden
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Post by salden »

Yes, one of my frequent visitors and you are correct..they love my truck :lol:

Excellent images and love the patterns shown in the eyes.
Sue Alden

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