Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Fisheye

Fly Photos

Rate this topic

25 posts in this topic

No matter how hard I try, I am never happy with the photos I take of my flies. I like many of the photos I see here better. What is your secret? What does your setup look like? I am shooting with a Canon SX260/HS. I probably should use a tripod (but I don't).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A tripod is a must if you want super clear and crisp pictures. The very best pictures you'll find here are shot with expensive glass attached to expensive DSLR cameras, think lenses that cost $1500-$2000 with filters that cost a couple hundred. No matter how good a point and shoot is the glass will almost never match up to what you can get on a DSLR. Another key is lighting. Most point and shoots and lower end DSLRs have fixed flashes that shoot straight, the culprit to red-eye. While fine for snapshots they tend to not be up to the task of providing the soft even lighting you see in professional or serious-amature photographs. For that you need an external flash, or several, that you can angle to bounce off of a wall or a reflective screen. All of that costs a good chunk of change, I usually shoot with a Canon 5D with either a 24/70 or a 100mm macro lens with an external flash angled to reflect off of the white walls in the room I tie in. The very best pictures I have seen here use a nice neutral matt background to help the fly really pop and allows them to shoot at a vey high F-Stop to get a clear picture of the entire fly with little or no bokeh, that blurry effect you see where the background gets blurred but the foreground is nice and sharp. A desirable thing when shooting portraits but not when trying to get a clear shot of the head and still have the tail in full focus.

 

Now, all that said you can get very good results with the setup you have coupled with a table top tripod and one of those light booths that I have seen people use when shooting small stuff to put up on ebay. For fairly short dollars you can get very good results. When using this type of setup you should also use the timer or an external shutter release if available for your camera and not press the button when shooting, this will ensure you get no vibration related blur in your photo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had wanted to post stuff for a while but could never get the photos to look good. the problem I have: the colors look dead and there isn't a sense of volume. After going through the ordeal of taking those pictures for my toot, have major appreciation for the fly pics peopple are taking here. the Hen thread above is a good example.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


<br />



 



<br />



The top photo is my " studio ".  I shot these two photos with my iPhone. All of my other photos are shot with a Panasonic DMC-TS3 in auto mode.  I do not use the macro mode.  I transfer the images to my ipad and crop and zoom them there.  The back ground is a plain piece of white card board.  No tripod.



 



the second photo is the lamp I use.  I believe it's daylight balanced.



 



hope this was helpful.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1000

 

1000

The top photo is my " studio ".  I shot these two photos with my iPhone. All of my other photos are shot with a Panasonic DMC-TS3 in auto mode.  I do not use the macro mode.  I transfer the images to my ipad and crop and zoom them there.  The back ground is a plain piece of white card board.  No tripod.

 

the second photo is the lamp I use.  I believe it's daylight balanced.

 

hope this was helpful.

 

I've been using the macro mode, which I guess decreases the field of view...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quote:

Originally Posted by okisutch View Post

I've been using the macro mode, which I guess decreases the field of view...



I think your right on that one. When I tried macro mode without a tripod I found that the head or tail of the fly would be slightly out of focus so I backed the camera away and got better results.



 



Good luck in your quest,  I can't wait to see some of your flies.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are not alone, Fisheye. Like you, I was frustrated for years with the photos I took. I am still learning how to make them wonderful. Here's a little of what I've learned.

 

1) Lighting is everything. To create consistent lighting, I use a light box. The front of a light box is open; that's where the camera goes. The top and both sides are cut out and have translucent panels (in my case old t-shirt fabric) to diffuse the light I'm generating (three shop lights with natural spectrum bulbs. The back of the box hold my background, in my case a sheet of light blue artist's craft paper. I made my light box for about $30 or so in materials. Google DIY lighting box and you'll get lots of hits.

 

2) Use the right camera and camera setting for the job. I use one camera (nothing special, a Pentax W90) for smaller flies because it has a narrow field of focus. I use a spiffier SLR camera for larger flies. In both cases, I use the macro setting. (I'm very interesed in what other SOLers are using for a camera, too.)

 

A Herr Blue bucktail shot with the SLR in the light box

1000

 

A smaller Kate McLaren shot with the standard-issure Pentax, again in the cozy confines of the light box. The camera's nothing special, but the detail here is pretty darn good.

1000

 

3) Use a tripod and the timer shutter function. Vibration/motion = bad.

 

4) Edit, edit, edit your work. If the shot comes out sucky (and a lot of mine do), I don't use it.

 

5) Learn to use your photo editing app. I'm a Mac guy, so I use iPhoto. Learn how to crop, straighten, and play with other effects.

 

At some point I'll be doing a piece on my website that shows my setup. It will eventually make its way to SOL. In the meantime, hope this helps.

 

Steve Culton

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can see with that last nymph the way you can see the volume and depth of the fly and the difference between the hackle and the body but you can the details on both of them. That's what I want.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is an example of the difference between a canon powershot and a canon 5D with a 24/70 2.8L lens. Both were shot with ambient light. The first photo is with the point and shoot and the second is with the DSLR. Both were edited in Adobe Light Room to clean up any noise and to crop accordingly. Both were shot on the same tripod. The primary difference is that the first one uses ISO800 which the camera picked up to deal with the somewhat low light and the second was shot at ISO 320 at F8 for 2.5 seconds. The shot with the DSLR used a remote release with the double click function set to on so the mirror would flip up and stay up requiring a second button press to open the shutter, this reduces vibration as much as possible. The shot with the point and shoot used the timer function. A light box would have improved both pictures quite a bit and some of the noise due to the high ISO for the point and shoot would have been eliminated.

 

1000

1000

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Fisherman View Post

You are not alone, Fisheye. Like you, I was frustrated for years with the photos I took. I am still learning how to make them wonderful. Here's a little of what I've learned.

1) Lighting is everything. To create consistent lighting, I use a light box. The front of a light box is open; that's where the camera goes. The top and both sides are cut out and have translucent panels (in my case old t-shirt fabric) to diffuse the light I'm generating (three shop lights with natural spectrum bulbs. The back of the box hold my background, in my case a sheet of light blue artist's craft paper. I made my light box for about $30 or so in materials. Google DIY lighting box and you'll get lots of hits.

2) Use the right camera and camera setting for the job. I use one camera (nothing special, a Pentax W90) for smaller flies because it has a narrow field of focus. I use a spiffier SLR camera for larger flies. In both cases, I use the macro setting. (I'm very interesed in what other SOLers are using for a camera, too.)

A Herr Blue bucktail shot with the SLR in the light box

RLS Herr Blue bucktail tied by Steve Culton for striped bass

A smaller Kate McLaren shot with the standard-issure Pentax, again in the cozy confines of the light box. The camera's nothing special, but the detail here is pretty darn good.

Kate McLaren loch bob wet fly Steve Culton

3) Use a tripod and the timer shutter function. Vibration/motion = bad.

4) Edit, edit, edit your work. If the shot comes out sucky (and a lot of mine do), I don't use it.

5) Learn to use your photo editing app. I'm a Mac guy, so I use iPhoto. Learn how to crop, straighten, and play with other effects.

At some point I'll be doing a piece on my website that shows my setup. It will eventually make its way to SOL. In the meantime, hope this helps.

Steve Culton


 


You can argue with those results - very nice. I may have to up my game with a light box and tripod. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Phil,

A lot of my early posts involved shooting with my Olympus Stylus 770SW but I've since upgraded to a Canon T3 Rebel. The majority of pictures involves the 18-55 mm lens on automatic settings. One thing I find that really really helps is adequate lighting. I use my Happy LIght for indoor shots and almost always try to use a flat colored background. This helps a ton.

 

I have yet to design a light box but that is only a matter of time. There was a good thread on this sight some time ago on light box construction, pretty good stuff. As for me, I do not do any after shoot touch ups to the picture unless its to remove a dirt spec. Then, I just use the paint program. I think having the ability to photograph your flies for presentation is almost as important as creating the fly itself.

 

See you around.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to register here in order to participate.

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.