One neat looking fly!

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Charles Krebs
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One neat looking fly!

Post by Charles Krebs »

I never really though too much about how fantastic looking some of these "common" flies can be until I started doing some of these stacked images where you really get a sense of the details and textures that are present.

Both images were with a Nikon D200 and a 50/2.8 EL Nikkor reversed on bellows.

Image


Image

Wim van Egmond
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Post by Wim van Egmond »

Hello Charles,

Beautiful! It proves that nothing is realy 'common' and even those nasty blowflies have something aesthetic, although it is more the 'motorcycle' type of aesthetics. :)

I have photographed the same fly ( I think it is Calliphora vicina) although mine is less perfect. Perhaps interesting to look for the differences since mine is from the other side of the globe:

http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/micropo ... head2b.jpg

Funny to see the composition is about the same. I think there are certain angles that work best.

Wim

puzzledpaul
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Post by puzzledpaul »

Excellent jobs(s) as usual ... all :)

Also not so easy to take (dynamic) pics of (imo) without blowing out the light / white areas around the eyes.

Whenever I see these I just wonder what 'all the kit' is there for, bcs it's surely there for very good reasons :)

Subject is also one of my favourites (bubbleblower post last yr) - seems a good shape / size to fit all into a l/scape pic too in side view.

<< more the 'motorcycle' type of aesthetics >>
Agreed - I made a similar comment re 'armour'

Would be on my 'stacking' list - should I ever try same :)

pp


Anyone know what the light browny / orange lozenge shaped area, just SE of the eye is all about / does - seems an odd bit of colour in the midst of all the 'ironmongery'

Charles Krebs
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Post by Charles Krebs »

Wim... the similarities between our shots, subject and composition, are striking!... it is indeed a "small" world :wink:

pp... good observation on the exposure difficulties. Even with careful lighting it takes some extra effort to avoid "blowing out" the highlights around the eyes of many of these flies. Sometimes it's necessary to give less exposure overall than would otherwise be preferred, and then bring up the shadows in photo-editing software. With really difficult subjects it's sometimes necessary to resort (if possible) to shooting the same thing at two different exposures and "retrieving" the highlights from the otherwise underexposed image.

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

Awesome photography, as usual! :D

I believe the orange lozenge-shaped area is the "anterior spiracle" -- one of several openings into the breathing apparatus.

Visit the Anatomical Atlas of Flies at http://www.ento.csiro.au/biology/fly/fly.html. Click the button labeled "Click here for Atlas". In the popup window, click the tab labeled "Calyptrate" to show the anatomy of Musca domestica, then click on the desired feature for ID.

BTW, another great reference for info about flies is http://www.diptera.info .

--Rik

PS. From www.diptera.info, random quote of the day:
If you think you are too small to be effective you've never slept with a mosquito. -- Unknown

arlon
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Post by arlon »

Very cool pictures..
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beetleman
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Post by beetleman »

Incredible amount of detail to look at Charles.....Amazing
Take Nothing but Pictures--Leave Nothing but Footprints.
Doug Breda

DaveW
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Post by DaveW »

Can you show us how you light these subjects Charles, or if you have explained it before post the link to it?

Great image!!

Dave Whiteley

jmlphoto
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Post by jmlphoto »

the first one has lots of detail but the second is just :shock: was this thing dead? if so how did you get it so clean?
Jordan L. photo southern california.

Charles Krebs
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Post by Charles Krebs »

Dave...
Can you show us how you light these subjects Charles
here goes:

A diffusion dome (made from a plastic kids toy ball) is attached to the front of the reversed EL Nikkor. The dome is illuminated from the camera side by the two reflectored lights (No "direct" light from these two hit the subject, only that which passes through the dome). The dome is cut to a size where the open end stops just short of the plane of the subject. This allows me to angle in slight bit of direct "hard" light (from the slaved flash seen at bottom right. Normally it is much farther out but I moved it in close to include it in this setup shot.). This helps in situations where the diffuse dome light is too flat. A little bit was used in each of these shots.

The background for these flies were printed up on a matte paper and simply clipped behind the subject. In the summer and fall months I often gather natural materials like leaves or grasses to use as backgrounds. But they are used so out-of-focus that you really can't tell what the background is.

So I maneuver these components around, change power settings, and take test shots until I like what I see. Then I shoot the "stack" and head for the computer.

Image
Image

Ib Mathiasen
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Post by Ib Mathiasen »

Clear and sharp foto of the fly - and you´r right, these fly have a fantastic and interesting look.

Great to be "backstage" - very interisting, thanks!
Ib Mathiasen

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

Great description & illustration of the setup, Charlie.

The subject shown in the setup appears to be something like an ichneumon wasp. Is this a new one or have we seen its portrait before?

And finally, what's with the black tape on the bottom of the ball?

--Rik

Charles Krebs
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Post by Charles Krebs »

Rik...
You sure don't miss much! I'm amazed you spotted the ichneumon I was working on. :shock:

Image

The tape was there to eliminate a "too strong" white reflection I was getting on the underside.

LordV
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Post by LordV »

Amazingly detailed and well lit shots Charles.
You have answered the one question I had in your setup - ie the fly was dead :)

Brian V.
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rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

Brian,

Yep, the animal subjects in these deep stacks are almost always dead.

There are a few exceptions, like Charlie's "horsefly" in the old forum, and my recent "face of a hobo" and "orb weaving spider".

The problem is, it takes several minutes just to shoot the 30-100 frames required for these shots, and getting something like a fly to hold still for that long is pretty challenging!

There is some discussion of the ethics of this issue here, in the old forum.

--Rik

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