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Fly Photography

Joined:
2008/1/2 16:42
From Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Area
Posts: 248
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What is the trick to a good picture of a fly close up? I change the setting to portrate. I get good pics but not close enough to see the detail. its not the camera its a 7.1 pixel. so what is the trick.

Posted on: 2008/3/10 5:42


Re: Fly Photography

Joined:
2008/1/2 16:42
From Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Area
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Here look.

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Posted on: 2008/3/10 5:48


Re: Fly Photography

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2006/9/11 11:41
From bucks cty
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The camera needs to have a macro capability. Check out your manual and see if it mentions a macro mode. If a specification page is printed look at the minimum focus distance. Cameras with macro capability generally will have a minimum focus range of about 2 inches or less. It also helps to use a small tripod to steady the camera.

What model is your camera?

Posted on: 2008/3/10 8:11


Re: Fly Photography

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2006/9/11 13:05
From Lewistown
Posts: 3627
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To add, the macro setting is usually depicted with a image of a flower.

Be sure to take a picture in the range of macro, or it won't turn out as good. Higher quality cameras will allow you to get closer to the fly.

Lighting is the largest factor when photographing a fly. Also, use a nutral colored background. I use a ligh blue file folder, but light green and tan work well too. Stay clear of white and black backgrounds.

I second the recomendation for a tripod. Mine sits next to my tying desk, usually with the camera on it (unless I recently went fishing), and I just set it in place to snap a quick pic.
Walmart has an ultra compact tripod on sale for $15 (electronic). It is small enough to fit in a backpack.

Posted on: 2008/3/10 13:06
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Re: Fly Photography

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Good.

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Posted on: 2008/3/10 17:57


Re: Fly Photography

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2007/7/21 23:09
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I recently learned how to take fly pictures too. On macro mode, I still couldn't see all the detail I wanted to, so I put it on super macro and now I can get very close up.

Posted on: 2008/3/10 20:20


Re: Fly Photography

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2006/9/11 13:05
From Lewistown
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Quote:
so I put it on super macro and now I can get very close up.


These is one problem with this.....not every camera has super macro.

For instance mine doesn't, but my macro is as close as 1 centameter - which is pretty darn close. I wish flies size 24 smaller showed up a little larger and in more detail, but ....

Posted on: 2008/3/10 20:35


Re: Fly Photography

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2006/10/18 17:32
From Bucks County
Posts: 121
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My camera has a setting depicted with a flower, so I'll use that. Now, do you zoom in as close as possible or physically move the camera as close to the fly as possible?

Posted on: 2008/3/11 11:13
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Re: Fly Photography

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2006/9/11 11:41
From bucks cty
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On really small flies I use maximum zoom and move in to fill the screen. For larger flies a back off the zoom a bit until it fills the screen. If your not filling the screen you are wasting resolution.

I have a super macro so I can get in very close. Obviously don't move in to less than your minimum focal length.

As MKern says lighting is important. I use a light I bought at Walmart that has a natural balance. I think it's sold for sewing, about $30.

I then crop the picture to reduce the file size when I upload. Here is a #20 olive that filled about 80% of the screen.

The camera is a Pentax M40 8 Meg pixel. Nothing really special these days.

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jpg  olive 3.jpg (574.31 KB)
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Posted on: 2008/3/11 11:26


Re: Fly Photography

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2006/9/11 13:05
From Lewistown
Posts: 3627
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I could be wrong, but on most cameras I think the macro mode must be zoomed out all the way and you have to move the camera towards the object. I think small zooming probably doesn't affect the photo that much though.

Posted on: 2008/3/11 12:58
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Re: Fly Photography

Joined:
2007/1/23 20:26
From Emigrant, Mt
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One great thing about digital cameras is that you can experiment all you want and get instant feedback. When I started using a tripod my pictuers were much better. Another thing to consider is using your camera's delayed shutter release. When the tripod and delay are used together you totally eliminate camera shake.

As others have said, lighting is very important. I invested about 50 bucks for this light box. For me it was well wrth it. http://www.adorama.com/VRDSB16.html Also, go to a craft store and buy several sheets of poster board in different colors for the background.

One more thing, good photo edting software can make good pics look even better. A very good program is Photo Shop Elements. You should be able to get that for less than 100 bucks. The auto enhance and sharpen function do almost all the editing that you'll need, except for cropping.

Posted on: 2008/3/11 20:09


Re: Fly Photography

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2006/9/14 20:03
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I’ve probably taken a million miles of core photos with macro lenses in my lifetime. Zooming in and using the macro focus works fine. You get the same frame filling picture, but you don’t have to be as close. It makes lighting easier if your not right on top of the subject with the camera. The disadvantage is it narrows your depth of focus. A macro lens has a very narrow depth of focus anyway, maybe 5 cm or so if your lucky. Thus you have to move the camera in and out to get the subject in range. If you use a 2X zoom, the problem gets worse because it cuts depth of focus in half.

However, if you have a tripod and camera with manual settings and a timed or remote shutter release, you can overcome the problems. Go with a high numeric F-stop and a slower shutter speed. This will increase the depth of field. No need to use maximum F-stop, even the best lenses begin to distort at their max. or min. settings. If the shutter speed falls below 1/15, get more light.

Also, while your on the manual settings, set the ISO/ASA speed to something reasonable, like 400. Modern digital cameras claim light sensitivity beyond the fastest film ever invented. In practice, you get a lot of noise and poor resolution.

Lastly, looking at your most recent photo, the only thing I can suggest is check the white balance setting on your camera. It looks like its set for daylight while the subject is in tungsten light.

Hope this helps.

Posted on: 2008/3/11 23:34
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Re: Fly Photography
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Joined:
2006/9/9 19:16
From Dallastown, PA
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I had a little time to goof around and give this a good try. I am not pleased at all withmy results but keep in mind my monitor sucks. However, most of your pics look OK on my monitor, while editing mine, I felt they looked dark adn lacked contrast. It could be my monitor. Be honest....let me know what you think of the pictures...not necessarily the flies, but they are fair game too.

I have a Kodak easyshare, I used a tripod, macro setting (flower) but moved away and zoomed in, only way I could hold focus. 2 second delay and just some incandescent light from spots above. The background is just a piece of lt blue or maroon piece of construction paper. Let me know if the colors are accurate too. They are way in left field for me.

These are some flies I've tied over the last couple months.
1. Olive & turkey quill nymh #10
2. Black Stonefly #10
3. GOlden Stone#10
4. Golden Stone #10 (different backgrounds)
5. Woodberg streamer #10
6. Baetis nymph #18
7. Zebra midge #20
8. baetis emerger #18
9. Olive snowshoe hair dryfly #16

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Posted on: 2008/3/12 11:19
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Re: Fly Photography

Joined:
2008/1/2 16:42
From Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Area
Posts: 248
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How about the background i am sure that effects it. The funny thing about this hole thing is i took a photograph course in college. but there was no digital cameras then and macro was not the same i got an A in the class because it interested me. but how i did that i don't remember. i really don't remember much of that time the only thing i really know is boy it was fun. i think!!!!!!

Posted on: 2008/3/12 11:36
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Re: Fly Photography

Joined:
2008/3/11 17:18
From Olyphant Pa.
Posts: 45
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What I recommend to my friends who wish to capture their flies is to work ambient light {work lamps} with the camera mounted on a tri-pod, and use the self timer function. This way the camera won't be shaking.

If ambient, incandescent light is used, just dial in the white balance of the camera to compensate for it. Then multiple work lights may be used.

As for getting close enough, zoom in from a normal distance, capture the image on the highest res. and then use photomanipulation software{photoshop, etc} and crop in at a resolution of 72dpi. to however many inches you want it to be on the screen.

Here's some images I captured the other day in the studio. I used only ambient light, and a regular, non macro lense.

Hope this helps.

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Posted on: 2008/3/14 11:04
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