Fly Photos

Bam Boozelled

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Hey all, been working on different ways to take pictures of my flies, also being a new fly tyer having these detailed shots helps me critique my work. I want to take my camera out to some locations and try to get more natural shots to.







































Thanks for checking them out! Feedback and thoughts are always appreciated.
 

LOC

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The flies are great. -the lighting is flat, try for more direction with the light...
Ditto, flies look great but you are entering a whole other world photography, art and composition.
I think your images would greatly benefit if you spent some time reading books on composition. Focus on not having competing themes in your images. Strong compositions will have a nice flow to them where the eye travels comfortably.
Also attention to detail is important on how your flies look if you are presenting them in a simple style where the composition of the fly is a strong part of the image.

This is a great start... fly tying and photography is a really fun way to blend both elements into a perfect hobby!
 

hatidua

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Thanks for the feedback. Wish I had more lights haha my set is just a couple pieces of gloss paper and 2 studio lights.
You don't need more lights, you need less. You're washing out the scene with light from every which way. One light source, somewhat diffused, from the side (a north facing window is a solid choice for this). Or, go with the product photo approach: One soft light source above and behind your subject (generally referred to as "top/back lighting"). I'm rushing to leave on a fishing trip but I'll try to diagram a lighting setup when I get home, send me a PM if I don't remember.
 

LOC

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Not sure what you meant by competing themes either if you could maybe explain?
No problem I will try to help you out.
A good example of competing themes in a image is number nine starting from the top.
You have a fly placed in a cork with a bottle cage attached.

When I look at this image my eye goes into the scene and I stop at the bottle cage because it's in the foreground, sharp and the detail in the wire grabs my attention. My eye next travels to the fly I settle there for a moment and then my attention goes back to the bottle cage. Why this is happening is because you gave just as much emphasis (photographically) to the bottle cage as you do with your fly. The two details are competing with each other and my eye does not know where to settle.

Now I know this is a fly shot but imagine if you showed this picture to someone living under a rock that has never seen a fly or a cork with a wire cage on it. Have you directed that viewer to focus on what you set out to photograph?

Try to find a book on composition for still life.
Also read up on how depth of field is perceived by the viewer.
Make the right steps and you will have a good understanding of the general rules to composition, photographic technique and how they affect the viewer. Ok have fun with it and keep shooting...
 
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Bam Boozelled

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Thanks again for all the feedback, heres a few I just took I will look into all the mentioned resources!



 

LOC

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Bottom pic100% improvement!
Good contrast, good detail in the fly with the right amount of fall off on your depth of field.
Nice tie BTW.

Something you may want to play with... See if you can find a angle that still shows off the fly but gets rid of the strong black line from the jaws of the vice. It may not be possible to have it orientated differently and hold the fly at the right angle.
A presentation vice or some other means to hold and photograph your flies will make a difference if you want to go that route. Otherwise WTG!

Top pic looks like a fun experiment. Technically you should try to define the shape of the bead without it going into black. A simple way to achieve that is experiment with a fill card on the bead head or add a edge light on the bead. This would be a slightly more advance lighting fix but easy to experiment these days with digital. Look up basic lighting techniques use of fill cards and back lighting to define a edge. Gradating the background is another way to fix it by not having the black edge of the bead fall against a black backgorund. The only issue with that route is it will change the mood of the image you have created. Anywho nice improvements!
 
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bigjim5589

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I'm no photographer, but I've found that certain colors in the back ground have produced better results for me. I use a chartreuse green piece of craft foam often for taking fly photo's, and that works well. I've also tried various other colors and the chart. green provided the best results.

I was using an inexpensive Kodak digital camera, which took some decent photo's, but certainly not professional quality. The connection where the wire hooked up that enabled uploading photo's to my PC crapped out, and even with a new wire, it wouldn't work. So, I've since been using my phone camera, and even with it, the photo's are reasonably OK.

These were all taken with my phone.
 

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bigjim5589

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BTW, I remember years ago, that a lot of the fly photo's in the various fly shop catalogs, such as the Orvis catalog, were taken with a color back ground. Some used a light green color, and others were taken using gray.
 

JoJer

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I use full sheets of tying/craft foam for backgrounds.
I work around the built-in flash on my Coolpix with a white paper cone.
It's not film: It's free and I can shoot as many as I want and dump the bad ones.
 

LOC

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Cool improvements so lets start with the good. You have done a good job simplifying your images.
Basically you have fly object and background. So first and foremost with a fly photograph the fly should be the star of the image right?.

The bad, think about Kim Kardashian in a image.. What would happen if another woman in her picture had a bigger butt that would draw attention away from her backside lol That's kinda what's happening in your images... The scale of your props are still competing with your flies.

Make your flies the clear cut star of your images!

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I have cropped your image and took some butt out the picture. Notice how your fly says look at me....
 

Ard

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Very nice and I can see that you're inspired at this time in your fly tying passion. Although I'm not much of a fly image pro I will offer one bit of advice, whatever camera you are using try stepping down the exposure value by at least -1.5 which will yield images a bit under exposed. You can easily brighten and highlight an under exposed image however when the image is over exposed you can not darken it.

When I used to post flies here I stuck to simple in the vise shots and I used a simple neutral background and shot at e/v -1.5 like the streamer below.



Just this past year I ventured into a more artsy look but stuck with the -1.5 E/V setting.





The under exposed image allows for me to adjust color and shadows to get an eyes on natural look if I intend to share the images.
 

hatidua

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That black background works much better than the white. Our eyes go to the lightest part of a scene so when your fly is the light object against that black background it really stands out nicely.
 
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