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Taking Pics of Flies, help!!

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12 replies to this topic

#1 FlatsRoamer


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Posted 18 September 2016 - 01:10 PM

Hey guys, man o man I need to take some better pictures. I really do believe it's my phone but whatever. My phone is the Samsung amp 2, I dunno if there's a way to improve the res or? Any info is much appreciated


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#2 Bimini15


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Posted 18 September 2016 - 01:14 PM

Take a pic and post it.
You will be able to fix lots of things by retouching your pic in an editor.
Photoshop is expensive. GIMP is free.

#3 DrVette


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Posted 18 September 2016 - 01:15 PM

I would also like some help in this...I don't know how to find a decent camera for shooting flies and bugs.

#4 Adam Saarinen

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Posted 18 September 2016 - 01:17 PM

Buy a SONY, the one and only!

#5 flytire


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Posted 18 September 2016 - 02:15 PM

a lot of bad photos isnt always the camera 

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#6 Dave G.

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Posted 18 September 2016 - 02:21 PM

  Good photos are about good technique practiced with adequate equipment. It has just about nothing to do with brand loyalty all though that exists too..

John 7:38 ESV  is about "Rivers of Living Water"

#7 utyer


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Posted 18 September 2016 - 02:23 PM

There have been a number of threads on taking pictures, the most recent one was this from yesterday by Kimo.  The whole key is LIGHT lots of light, from at least 2 directions, and some type of background that will redirect and concentrate the light on the fly.  Phones don't have the necessary aperture settings to get good depth of field, and are not usually good at close ups.  


I use an old 7 MP Canon that if found.  Its at least 8 years old now.  It has two key features, one a macro setting for closeup work, and the second is aperture settings for depth of field.  I also have 2 sources of light, and try and use a "shadow" box or reflective shield on many of my photos.  There are lots of inexpensive "point and shoot" cameras that will allow you to take close up images.  But you must get one with a macro setting, and aperture setting options.  These can be found for well under $100.  



There is NO way to get good images if you don't use some photo editing software.  Two have been mentioned, and I use neither.  I use an editor called PhotoScape.  This a free download, and has lots of features for adjusting white balance color saturation, cleaning up backgrounds.  The first thing you should do with your editing software is crop you image so that the fly fills the image as much as possible.  Then adjust white balance and or color balance as necessary.  


Once you have a good in focus image then the rest of the work is done with the editing software.  Always save your "raw" image as you edit, so that if you make a mistake, you can go back to it.  


I don't see too many phones that can take good quality close up images.  There are lens kits you can get for smart phones, but I have not tried one.  

"We have met the ememy, and he is us." Pogo by Walt Kelly

#8 vicente


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Posted 18 September 2016 - 05:26 PM

Check the settings if your camera has a "focus on target" mode versus auto focus it will make a big difference my old phone had a macro setting which I loved sadly my current one doesn't, just making the switch from auto to target type focus made a big difference. 

#9 mikechell



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Posted 18 September 2016 - 09:33 PM

It's.  A.  Phone.


I'm a bit old fashioned, I know.  I still use a flip phone and my plan doesn't include anything except "phone".  $25 a month, unlimited calling.  It's.  A.  Phone.   Not a camera.


Buy a camera and load the pictures on a computer.  Computer photo editing software is easy to use, some are free, and you can see what you're editing on a bigger screen, which allows for finer adjustments.

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#10 Dave G.

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Posted 19 September 2016 - 07:40 AM

Also consider that you don't have to buy a new camera. This place sells new but specializes in and stocks a huge inventory of used camera gear. You pay a little more than a private sale but you are guaranteed good quality items or they will replace it. If you call them up or they may have live chat or email as well, they have experts in the field who could help direct you to a reasonable purchase. All their gear has a no questions asked 60 day money back guaranty and their rating system is very conservative. I've bought gear from the bargain category that was like new but maybe had a scratch or wear spot on it. And excellent category that was like new. So it's a consideration at least, here is the link, happy searching : https://www.keh.com/...d General_Broad

John 7:38 ESV  is about "Rivers of Living Water"

#11 Al Beatty

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Posted 25 October 2016 - 09:51 AM

Hi Guys,

The best macro camera every built (in our humble opinion) was the Nikon 995 like the one in the eBay link below. We have two of them and still used them whenever the photos are intended for display on the Internet only. The 3MP sensor is the only limitation but again, if you are only displaying on websites, etc. then it is great. By the way, the on-camera flash is all the light you need for fly photography unless you want to light the background separate from the subject (fly).




We have a macro photo studio (corner of Al's office) with two cameras permanently mounted on tripods waiting for the next shot. One of them is a Nikon 995 with an AC power supply so we can just leave it on without draining the battery while shooting a fly series. The other tripod/camera (Nikon D5300 with a number of flash units) is for product, catalog and magazine photography. For field & event work, we use the Nikon D7000, D750 and the D300 with a bunch of flash units. 


If web work is your goal, then give the old 995 a try! Take care & ...

Tight Lines - Gretchen & Al Beatty

#12 Patriot


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Posted 05 October 2017 - 10:03 PM

I've been a photographer nearly all of my life, so I have accumulated a lot of camera gear, all of which is now all digital.  That said, IMO, the best way to get crisp shots of your flies is by stacking the images and process them in Lightroom and Photoshop.  I normally take about 4 shots of my flies and then process them as noted.


There are a lot of good tutorials on the web.  My method is a bit different in that I do not use flash.  I use the twisted fluorescent bulbs such as these.  I believe mine are 40W or so.


A tripod is a must have item for this method.


Here is a recent shot using stacking.


Attached File  sparkle-midge-prototype-2b.jpg   205.58KB   0 downloads


#13 chugbug27


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Posted 05 October 2017 - 10:53 PM

Lucian has a good article out on lighting, here:
(Also some good articles on other stuff)

"Fly tying is replete with unproven theories and contradictions and therein lies much of it's charm and fascination." George F. Grant, The Master Fly Weaver