Long-legged fly (Dolichopodidae) @ 9X

Images taken in a controlled environment or with a posed subject. All subject types.

Moderators: Pau, rjlittlefield, ChrisR, Chris S.

dmillard
Posts: 596
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 7:37 pm
Location: Austin, Texas

Long-legged fly (Dolichopodidae) @ 9X

Post by dmillard »

Image

My first obligatory fly face - this needs some cleanup work in Photoshop, but there are other issues I still need to address (a little fill lighting from below, larger aperture, deeper stack, firmer worktable, etc.). The background is a transilluminated leaf of Turk's Cap (Malvaviscus drummondii) upon which I found the fly. I welcome any criticism of this image.

25mm f/2 Photar @ f/2.8, Vivitar 283, 45 images stacked in HF.[/img]

rjlittlefield
Site Admin
Posts: 21134
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2006 8:34 am
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA
Contact:

Post by rjlittlefield »

Nice job, and a challenging specimen to start with! :D

Those long bright hairs at the bottom of the face are an invitation to trouble for most stacking algorithms. Bright hairs/bristles competing with a dark surface either in front or behind them are very prone to halo and visibility errors. If I had to guess, I'd say I'm seeing both in this image. Unless this fly has bristles on the lower parts of its eyes, and nowhere else, then those bright bristles that appear to be coming from the eyes are actually behind them, being seen around the eyes when the lens is focused farther back. If that's a correct interpretation, then about all I can suggest is manual editing. At present, I'm not aware of any programs that will correctly and automatically handle that situation.

The OOF bristles in center at top of head are confusing. I can't tell whether they go backward or forward, and whether they are in front of or behind the other large bristles arching in from the eyes. I suspect visibility errors in the rendering, but I can't tell for sure looking only at the final composite.

The whole thing seems to be a little fuzzier than I'd expect from the lens that you're using. Often a bit of sharpness gets lost in resizing to web resolution, and I wonder if this happened to you? If so, the appearance can be recovered with a modest sharpening after resizing. In Photoshop, I usually apply around 35% at 0.7 pixels just before the final save.

I agree about needing some more lighting from below -- at least enough to show the ommatidia even on the bottom of the eyes. But the lighting you have is working great for the upper part of the face. The colors, surface texture, and iridescence look wonderful!

It's a very nice touch to use a leaf from the natural surroundings for background.

How did you transilluminate the leaf, and illuminate the subject, while maintaining color balance?

--Rik

beetleman
Posts: 3578
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 4:19 am
Location: Southern New Hampshire USA

Post by beetleman »

Very beautiful. I love these type of flies with there multicolored metallic bodies.
Take Nothing but Pictures--Leave Nothing but Footprints.
Doug Breda

lauriek
Posts: 2402
Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2007 6:57 am
Location: South East UK
Contact:

Post by lauriek »

Nice first stack! The lighting particularly stands out...

I also like the idea of using a leaf found with the subject - I'd considered shooting various leaves sllghty oof and printing those for backdrops but this seems a much better/simpler idea!

Would love to see a post over in the equipment form showing your whole subject lighting / backdrop transillumination setup! ;)

dmillard
Posts: 596
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 7:37 pm
Location: Austin, Texas

Post by dmillard »

lauriek wrote:Nice first stack! The lighting particularly stands out...

I also like the idea of using a leaf found with the subject - I'd considered shooting various leaves sllghty oof and printing those for backdrops but this seems a much better/simpler idea!

Would love to see a post over in the equipment form showing your whole subject lighting / backdrop transillumination setup! ;)
Thank you! I'm using a Novoflex Macrolight with three small light guides in conjunction with a Vivitar 283 flash. The diffused lighting was achieved through the use of a translucent Fujichrome film canister, cut lengthwise into a half cylinder. I cut a narrow slot across this semi-cylinder with a jeweler's saw, and can easily place paper or leaves in the slot between the specimen and the tip of one of the light guides. This method would also work with plastic cylinders from other sources. I'm going to photograph this fly again this weekend, revising my technique for hopefully greater success. I will also post pictures (undoubtedly clearer than my verbal description) of my setup then.


Post Reply Previous topicNext topic