Jump to content
Fly Tying
Sign in to follow this  
CrookedHook

Photographing Flies Help

Recommended Posts

I was woundering if anyone here has any tips on taking pics of my flies. I have a 3x optical zoom camera, but I can not take very good pics of them.

They tend to be either blurry, or if clear the light is to bright. I have seen a tupperware bowl made into a backdrop, but I am not sure this will help much. I will try anything however. I do not want to turn this into a professional photo topic, just need some tips. Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was woundering if anyone here has any tips on taking pics of my flies. I have a 3x optical zoom camera, but I can not take very good pics of them.

They tend to be either blurry, or if clear the light is to bright. I have seen a tupperware bowl made into a backdrop, but I am not sure this will help much. I will try anything however. I do not want to turn this into a professional photo topic, just need some tips. Thanks.

 

BLURRY: Use a tripod to stabilize your camera. If its a digital camera, use manual focus. Use a small aperature (a large f-stop) to increase your depth of field.

 

TOO BRIGHT: Set your camera to MANUAL and take a number of shots, each with a different shutter speed. Take 5 or 6 shots to increase your odds of getting a good one. If you have flood lights, use them and turn off your camera's flash.

 

Shooting flies usually means you have to get up close. If your camera has a MACRO setting (often indicated by a tulip) use it. If it doesn't you may want to consider buying a close-up lens.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tripod and lighting are two biggies. Lighting is something I fight constantly with my setup. I have a flexible arm light to tie with, but the rest of the lighting in my room is pretty weak.

 

Make sure with your zoom camera that you are not trying to get too close. If your camera is too close to the subject it may not be able to focus on the fly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to agree that it sounds mostly like you need to switch to macro mode. But it will require a rest for your camera (tripod) as movement is magnified in macro mode. Also, macro mode usually shuts off your flash, so lighting is important to look at.

 

I would also recommend a little bit of a photo set up. If you have any handy skills at all, you can put one together. I used a scrap of 2x12 that I had in the garage. With a circular saw, I cut a groove along both edges and across the back. The whole thing got painted high-gloss white. The paint was more than just a finish for the wood - the high gloss reflects light back up onto the fly, giving you better lighting. I picked up a piece of the plastic difuser that lays in the bottom of flourescent lights (there was a broken one on the shelf that was still big enough for me but I got cheaper because it was cracked) and cut it to size. The ends of this get inserted in the groove along either side of the base. I have a piece of cardstock that goes in the groove along the back for a background. Along the center of the base, I drilled holes just large enough for the base of the electrical clips that I use to hold flies. Then my broad spectrum lamp goes right over the whole thing and slightly ahead of the fly. Camera on a tripod finishes the whole thing off.

 

It was cheap to put together:

Board: nothing, scrap from garage

Diffuser: maybe $3

Paint: $3

Cardstock: $1 plus change

 

When I started typing this all out, I thought I had a picture of the whole thing, but don't. So rather than retyping, I'll get a picture later and put it in.

 

While the photo set up certainly helped my photos, I think the macro setting is your biggest issue at the time.

 

Deeky

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's an additional small tip about closeup pics of flies, knots, etc. Hit up your local craft shop for sheets of colored foam (they'll typically come in 8 x 10 size or a bit larger). You should be able to get a half dozen single sheets of different color (the same foam you'd use for Gartside Gurglers). Any time you're doing photo work it's then a simple matter to have a perfectly contrasting background (and I've had the same set of foam sheets now for almost ten years). Here's a pic or two to illustrate how they're used...

 

Tight Lines

Bob LeMay

post-30940-0-65596600-1323190778_thumb.jpg

post-30940-0-09625400-1323190823_thumb.jpg

post-30940-0-70171300-1323190870_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All right, as promised, here are a few pics of my set up that I use. Like I said before, I put my broad spectrum lamp just above the difuser and slightly in front of the fly.

 

The pieces:

post-3964-0-21266000-1323205335_thumb.jpg

 

From the outside:

post-3964-0-36429400-1323205369_thumb.jpg

 

Looking in:

post-3964-0-89486500-1323205407_thumb.jpg

 

Hope that helps.

 

Deeky

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks to all of you for your help. I see that I have some projects to accomplish for future photos. This has been a great help. Thanks alot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another tip on the backdrop: keep it far enough behind the fly that is stays out of focus when you shoot in macro mode. This creates a soft, consistent background and helps isolated the details of a sharply focused fly.

 

I am posting from an iPad and have not figured out how to insert pictures into a reply. If you would like, take a look at the article posted on Hatches Magazine ( link below). Notice the flies in the lead photo lose detail against a cluttered back ground, but the flies highlighted against a soft blue background sweep show much more detail.

 

Keep experimenting, it is a lot of fun.

 

http://hatchesmagazine.com/blogs/Hatches/2010/09/07/talking-turkey-to-a-trout-by-russ-forney/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...