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Thread: Photographing Flies

  1. #1
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    Default Photographing Flies

    I think this is mainly geared towards MC and the likes that often publish in magazines.

    I was wondering on suggested methods and lighting for photographing flies. I think the biggest issue is the lighting, trying to get the fly well light without huge amounts of glare off the hooks, beads and flash is a problem. Also I never quiet seem to be able to get the colours of the fly to come out correct due to the lighting.
    Fly-fishing surpasses the need to actually catch a fish, it becomes a mindset, and with time, an obsession.

    Lord,grant that I may catch a fish so big that even I,
    When speaking afterwards,
    May have no need to lie.
    Amen

  2. #2
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    Interesting topic Gael, I for one would like to hear what the boffs have to say!
    Daryl Human

    The solution to any problem -- work, love, money, whatever -- is to go fishing, and the worse the problem, the longer the trip should be. --John Gierach

  3. #3
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    Hi there guys

    I am absolutely pathetic at taking pictures of flies. They always come out looking really drab and ugly.

    About two issues back The Fly Tyer magazine had a really good looking article about this specific topic. I have not yet read the article, but will try to find it and even read it to see what they are on about. It was written by AK Best and I believe that he knows what he is talking about.

    Cheers
    MC

  4. #4
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    Here is a pretty interesting link I found on making your own fly photography “studio” using a pool chemical bottle, some wire and a few small mirrors.

    http://homepage.mac.com/riverwader/t...ersonal24.html

    If you look at the salmon flies photographed using this rig you will see how well this lighting rig works, it’s pretty amazing actually.

    Now all I need is a digital camera with a half decent macro function and a manual focus.
    Fly-fishing surpasses the need to actually catch a fish, it becomes a mindset, and with time, an obsession.

    Lord,grant that I may catch a fish so big that even I,
    When speaking afterwards,
    May have no need to lie.
    Amen

  5. #5
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    Check out the photography articles on flyanglersonline:

    http://www.flyanglersonline.com/photo/

    Another thing I have learned is to try different colours and textures as the background for your flies. You will find that certain flies stand out better or worse with different backgrounds.

  6. #6
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    I'm very interested to see how this topic progresses. My photo's are crap because:
    1. My flytying lighting is not the best
    2. My camera is dated

    I think that lighting is critical. What sort of lighting do you all use for tying your flies? I've read about using 5000K (natural daylight) fluorescent bulbs. The compact ones that fit into regular lightbulb fittings should be fine too - you know the energy-saver bulbs.

    I'm also looking to get a new camera. So hopefully will be able to share some of my flies soon.

    Edit: Just read the artificial light section in Grant's link. Quite a lot more to this than I thought. Possibly the easiest is just to take pictures in the day using natural light!
    Last edited by KevinE; 20-12-06 at 01:18 AM.

  7. #7
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    Hi there guys

    The article by AK Best is in the Winter 2005 issue of the FlyTyer magazine.

    I read part of it last night and it is quite interesting.

    He uses an old Pentax camera because he claims that he can manipulate the end product better than what an automatic camera can produce.
    The background should be textured in order to absorb and/or diffuse some of the harsh light. He uses different coloured picture mounting boards for this purpose.
    The background should be a single coloured background in order to not detract from the subject.
    He uses a hand held light meter and drapes a Hare's Mask over the vice to measure the lighting in stead of a light board (a thing that is made for this purpose). The mask with subtle colour variation and limited shine is better suited to determine the correct light for photographing a fly.

    That is as far as I got.

    Cheers
    MC

  8. #8

    Default Photographing Flies

    Advice from a rank amateur.

    Photographing flies falls under macro photography. A science in it's own right and a BUDGET$$$$ bracket close to US defence spending ;-).

    But you don't have to spend all the money to take reasonable photo's. You do need a camera with Macro abilities, don't bother otherwise. Tripod. Light! A ringlight (not used by a Proctologist) is specialised equipment you can invest in. Otherwise use the good strong light on the tying table. You can also build a mini studio as directed in a previous thread.

    Remember to set your white balance for the type of lighting used! It will give you better colour. Choose a neutral backdrop - have a look at these flies www.danica.com\flytier . Jason's website must be the ultimate in macro photography of insects, but there are some flies as well http://www.troutnut.com/

    Then practice and practice that's the benefit of digital!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yellowfever View Post
    ... that's the benefit of digital!
    that or just taking a pic of 'your choice of backdrop' and pasting in a pic of someone else's tied fly with photoshop!
    the patient mental...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yellowfever View Post
    Choose a neutral backdrop - have a look at these flies www.danica.com\flytier .
    I hadn't seen this website before. I was reading through the names when (to my surprise) I saw Jack Murray's name. Jack is ex-SA but has been in NZ for a long time. I used to fish with him a bit when living in Tauranga. Jack is an amazing tier - check our his flies: http://www.danica.com/flytier/jmurray/jmurray.htm

    All his flies are simple and some look a bit scruffy but they are VERY effective. Try the Spent Roughy. I lost the last one Jack gave me and had forgotten about it. This is a top fly and I will be tying some up ASAP. The caddis pupae look amazing too.

    Also look at Robbie McPhee's flies, again very simple but proven, I have taken a number of nice fish on his wee muddler.
    http://www.danica.com/flytier/rmcphee/rmcphee.htm

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