Jump to content
Fly Tying

Recommended Posts

I've recently started taking a lot more pictures of my flies as I start to tie some that I'm actually proud of, but I'm still having problems getting the entire fly in focus.  As you can see from the picture, I get some decent focus on the close foreground (the herl and body), but it starts to get worse the further away you get from the focus point.  By the time you get to the tips of the hackle and the end of the parachute post, it is almost completely out of focus. 

I've tried a number of lighting options, including all natural window light, natural light with an overhead light, no natural light with lights from the top and sides, and no natural light with light just from the top.  Obviously it isn't the best lighting situation, but I think it's good enough to get the fly completely lit up.

 

As for backgrounds, I usually stick to heavy paper folders.  The two colors I use the most are a dark blue, which turns much lighter in the pictures, and black, which becomes gray.  I doubt the background makes much of a difference as far as focus goes, but I figured I'd include it.

I'm shooting on a Canon EOS 80D with a macro lense, which I can't find a ton of helpful information online about.  I've tried a bunch of settings, but the one I keep reverting to is the automatic mode because it's the most dummy proof, and seems to consistently provide the best pictures of the ones I take.  The picture shown here was taken in the close up mode.  I've also tried aperture priority (Av), where I've used a number of F-stops but usually get a very slow shutter speed, shutter priority (Tv), where the picture turns very dark when I turn the shutter speed down, and also messed with the Iso speed, which almost always results in a very slow shutter speed and blurry pictures.

Anyone have any tips to get the entire fly in focus?  Camera setting tips?  Lighting tips?  Any help would be appreciated, as I am truly very new to the photography game.

IMG_4563.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Current, You are dealing with a photography reality known as depth of field, The closer you get the narrower the depth of field.

A former member here, Kimo, was an expert at layering multiple shots to give the impression of a full sharpness across the photo.

One option is to take a picture further away from the fly and then enlarge the picture.  Your depth of field will be greater, even if the original image will be smaller.

Hope this helps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

camera-settings.jpg

 

i use a small point and shoot camera. nikon coolpix s9900 for my fly photography

my setting are as follow

1. Aperture mode

2. no flash

3. macro mode

4. f6.3 f stop

5. camera set to 8 megapixels

6. shutter speed

7. iso speed picked by the camera

no white balance adjustment

i then use PhotoScape X Pro software to crop the photo for forum viewing

result

Alexandra-Streamer-1080.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not the most experienced or technical here, as my set up is pretty primitive, and I use my phone (on auto) for 90% of my photos, even though I have a relatively decent Canon G9X.  Setting my phone/camera back a bit and using software (FastStone Image Viewer) to lightly edit and crop works best for me.  

IMG-20210127-104604d.jpg

Nice little blog you got there, BTW.  I saw the SBS you did on the School Bus Perch TC streamer and modified it to a lead head jig hook for my spin fishing buddy who ask for some perch imitations.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, flytire said:

i use a small point and shoot camera. nikon coolpix s9900 for my fly photography

How did you get your name on the camera display? 😉

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good points all, but I wonder if it might actually be a twisting movement problem from pushing the button? The parachute post is blurry but is in the same plane of focus as the fly body, which is in focus.

Macro lenses can be more prone to shaking, particularly if they have telephoto attributes. Try using a tripod, a remote clicker (or self timer), and set the camera to mirror lock if it has that function. Use aperture mode and set the f-stop to 5.6 or 8. (Adjust lighting for any other desired effects. Your tripod will make it work at any shutter speed.) If that fixes it, it's a movement problem.

If you don't have a tripod or hate using it but do have a spare c-clamp from an old vise, buy a 9" or longer 3/8" hex bolt (16 threads per inch) from the hardware store and attach this $7 female to male tripod adapter to make your own compact and extremely stable camera-holder-stiller.

image.png.25ac7b249db07c29d9bf75d927cf780f.png

https://www.amazon.com/CAMVATE-female-Adapter-tripod-camera/dp/B01EI2DHRI

If I'm wrong and it is depth of field, it looks like this camera has a "depth of field" function which can help you pick a better f-stop and distance from the fly that will bring everything (or as much as possible) into focus. It's a really neat canon signature function. (Mine doesn't have it ☹️)

You can also reduce the haziness of the bright white parachute post by moving your lighting, for instance to the front or bottom of the fly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yup use a tripod to help eliminate the shakes while you take a photo

 

If you don’t have a tripod but you do have a c-clamp, the standard camera tripod thread is 1/2-20 so that will fit into a vise c-clamp. Buy a foot long 1/4-20 threaded rod and insert it into your c-clamp and tighten the holding screw

vice-c-clamp-camera-tripod.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tripod, either carry it or strap in on the backpack. Just about every outdoor photo, where it's possible, I use the tripod and timer. Eliminates fuzzy photos which are necessary for taking photos of Bigfoot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

image.png.8c591a434faeb94486e708e8aa0f62e7.png

Is this your macro lens? I saw it comes with the EOS 80D kit.... It might be causing some "special" effects with lighting refraction and might also be reducing your depth of field.  Try taking pics without it, use that "depth of field" function with your regular lens, and just crop the photo down in editing after the pic is taken. 

19 hours ago, Current Angler said:

any tips to get the entire fly in focus?

In addition to what's already been said... If you use telephoto lenses (over 50mm) to "get closer", it will enlarge the object photographed BUT it also will reduce the depth of field. It's counterintuitive, but instead try using a wide angle lens (or widen on the zoom) to around 28mm, and see if that doesn't improve things. Wide angles give you a much greater depth of field and sometimes also allow you to get in closer to your subject. Just keep the fly in the center of your photo to avoid wide angle distortions.

 

19 hours ago, Current Angler said:

Camera setting tips?

Set your white balance to get truer colors.

Try setting your iso to different levels (50 or 100 up to 1600). Higher iso will let you take pics with less light but also will reduce the amount of light captured in your pic. If you use a tripod you can use the lowest iso.

Use partial metering on the whole fly instead of evaluative metering of the whole picture frame.  Try spot metering to adjust the lighting and color qualities of your image based on a particular "spot" on your fly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bigger the f-stop number the higher depth of field. F-stops in the 6 - 8 range are not very high. Crank that up especially with a macro lens.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Took some photos for magazines. I came up with this setup. Lights are from Harbor Freight with curly q bulbs. Had some GE stick bulbs but were too bright. I originally shot them with the wife's Canon SX530 HD camera with fixed lens. Stacked +2 and +4 diopters on the lens. Shot on automatic setting with tripod and 2 second timer. Second photo has muted lighting. The wife made some "bonnets" from some sort of material to soften the light.

IMG_6523.JPG

IMG_6520.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, all!  I thought I had followed this thread, but apparently never did, so I was surprised when I didn't get any notifications about replies.  

On 1/26/2021 at 7:53 PM, Noahguide said:

Current, You are dealing with a photography reality known as depth of field, The closer you get the narrower the depth of field.

A former member here, Kimo, was an expert at layering multiple shots to give the impression of a full sharpness across the photo.

One option is to take a picture further away from the fly and then enlarge the picture.  Your depth of field will be greater, even if the original image will be smaller.

Hope this helps.

I've been looking at doing the same, something I believe is called focus stacking.  I should really get some good photo editing software so that I can try taking the pictures from further away.

 

On 1/27/2021 at 7:44 AM, flytire said:

camera-settings.jpg

 

i use a small point and shoot camera. nikon coolpix s9900 for my fly photography

my setting are as follow

1. Aperture mode

2. no flash

3. macro mode

4. f6.3 f stop

5. camera set to 8 megapixels

6. shutter speed

7. iso speed picked by the camera

no white balance adjustment

i then use PhotoScape X Pro software to crop the photo for forum viewing

result

 

Makes sense.  I'll mess around with some of these settings when I have some free time.

 

On 1/27/2021 at 10:56 AM, niveker said:

Not the most experienced or technical here, as my set up is pretty primitive, and I use my phone (on auto) for 90% of my photos, even though I have a relatively decent Canon G9X.  Setting my phone/camera back a bit and using software (FastStone Image Viewer) to lightly edit and crop works best for me.  

Nice little blog you got there, BTW.  I saw the SBS you did on the School Bus Perch TC streamer and modified it to a lead head jig hook for my spin fishing buddy who ask for some perch imitations.  

I've tried using my phone a little bit, with mixed results.  Thanks for taking a look at the blog!  That pattern was my best producing fly last year for bass, both smallmouth and largemouth.

 

On 1/27/2021 at 11:49 AM, chugbug27 said:

Good points all, but I wonder if it might actually be a twisting movement problem from pushing the button? The parachute post is blurry but is in the same plane of focus as the fly body, which is in focus.

Macro lenses can be more prone to shaking, particularly if they have telephoto attributes. Try using a tripod, a remote clicker (or self timer), and set the camera to mirror lock if it has that function. Use aperture mode and set the f-stop to 5.6 or 8. (Adjust lighting for any other desired effects. Your tripod will make it work at any shutter speed.) If that fixes it, it's a movement problem.

 

If I'm wrong and it is depth of field, it looks like this camera has a "depth of field" function which can help you pick a better f-stop and distance from the fly that will bring everything (or as much as possible) into focus. It's a really neat canon signature function. (Mine doesn't have it ☹️)

You can also reduce the haziness of the bright white parachute post by moving your lighting, for instance to the front or bottom of the fly.

It is entirely possible this is the problem.  I set the camera up on a tripod, but it's really hard to get it perfectly head-on, so I usually stabilize it with my hands.  I should really just take the time to set it up better, then use my remote clicker like you suggested.  I'll have to take a look at that setting, and also try changing the lighting up.

 

On 1/27/2021 at 3:05 PM, chugbug27 said:

Is this your macro lens? I saw it comes with the EOS 80D kit.... It might be causing some "special" effects with lighting refraction and might also be reducing your depth of field.  Try taking pics without it, use that "depth of field" function with your regular lens, and just crop the photo down in editing after the pic is taken. 

In addition to what's already been said... If you use telephoto lenses (over 50mm) to "get closer", it will enlarge the object photographed BUT it also will reduce the depth of field. It's counterintuitive, but instead try using a wide angle lens (or widen on the zoom) to around 28mm, and see if that doesn't improve things. Wide angles give you a much greater depth of field and sometimes also allow you to get in closer to your subject. Just keep the fly in the center of your photo to avoid wide angle distortions.

 

Set your white balance to get truer colors.

Try setting your iso to different levels (50 or 100 up to 1600). Higher iso will let you take pics with less light but also will reduce the amount of light captured in your pic. If you use a tripod you can use the lowest iso.

Use partial metering on the whole fly instead of evaluative metering of the whole picture frame.  Try spot metering to adjust the lighting and color qualities of your image based on a particular "spot" on your fly.

No, that isn't the macro I use.  I'll try playing around with these settings.

 

On 1/27/2021 at 5:36 PM, Poopdeck said:

Bigger the f-stop number the higher depth of field. F-stops in the 6 - 8 range are not very high. Crank that up especially with a macro lens.

I've played around with the aperture, but usually just end up with a much slower shutter speed.  This could be a non-issue, though, if I take the time to set it up properly on a tripod.

 

On 1/28/2021 at 8:52 AM, skeet3t said:

Took some photos for magazines. I came up with this setup. Lights are from Harbor Freight with curly q bulbs. Had some GE stick bulbs but were too bright. I originally shot them with the wife's Canon SX530 HD camera with fixed lens. Stacked +2 and +4 diopters on the lens. Shot on automatic setting with tripod and 2 second timer. Second photo has muted lighting. The wife made some "bonnets" from some sort of material to soften the light.

Interesting setup.  I've tried a bunch of different lights and angles, but so far, nothing has beat natural light.  I've taken a look at some ring lights, but haven't actually purchased one yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Focus stacking can be your friend BUT you need to be able to manually focus your camera.

A point and shoot digital won't work.

Good luck with your project.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, gillage said:

Focus stacking can be your friend BUT you need to be able to manually focus your camera.

A point and shoot digital won't work.

Good luck with your project.

I have a DSLR, so I should be all set.  Thanks!

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...

×
×
  • Create New...