Category Archives: Photos

Underwater shots

Been trying to take some new photos of flies underwater/on the water, here’s a first example featuring  my own SRM emerger. Think it turned out pretty cool actually 🙂

Here’s the fly out of the water:

 

And here’s the fly on the water:

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Top bug shots of the year

As I was sitting looking trough my photos of insects from this year I really longed back to the summer and early autumn when I was out every day shooting 100+ photos of insects and enjoying every second of it. Learning the lens, the methods of manual focusing, sneaking slowly up on the subject and spending hours in Adobe Lightroom doing small corrections of white balance, sharpness etc.

One thing’s for sure, when the spring comes next year I am getting out again, maybe with a new macro lens if I can afford it. But when I look back I realize that I have managed a few quite good photos with the one I am using already.

So here you have it, my own top ten list of bug photos from this year. I am not a pro, this is just me trying to learn and hopefully I will have a top ten next summer that is even better!

Remember to click on each photo to see it in higher resolution!

#10 – the autumn hopper

From just a week ago. It was nice to see that I still could shot sharp freehand manual focus macros. The subject is nice with its colors and sharpness. I would have wished for a background with higher contrast but it’s still a nice shot me thinks

#9 – the crouching dragon

This photo has what the previous one was lacking; a good contrast between the subject and the background. I would have wished for an ever deeper depth of field so that the wings weren’t out of focus but this is not easy with freehand and low ISO. Also the leaf that it is resting on is a little bit too big in the shot, maybe I should cut it down a little? But I am happy with the sharpness and the way it looks towards the sky.

#8 that spark in your eye

The most fascinating with taking photos of insects is that what looks small and uninpressive to the naked eye gets to become this amazing thing when you get to come this close to it. I like the sharpness of the eyes here, the way it is composed and the contrast towards the background. All in all I am rather pleased with this.

#7 the stone dragon

Maybe not perfect in any way but it was one of the first photos I took with my new macro lens early this summer that I got really satisfied with the sharpness. I really love the greyish color which makes it almost look like it is made from stone. Dragonflies are some of the hardest insects to sneak up on, they see you which angle you might come from, so when you get this close to take a shot like this you need to be ready with all the settings and the focus becayse you won’t get that many photos taken before it takes off.

#6 Look at me

I took more photos of butterflies than anything else this summer. Still it was hard to find that many that made it into this list. This is quite a classic subject, a newly hatched butterfly (small tortoise) that sits in the warmth of the sun. I like the shallow depth of field with the blurry background which in color are great contrast to the bright red butterfly, I also like the sharpness and the thistle flowers in there too.

#5 nectar lunch

Often when you take photos of insects they look naturally still and it is hard to get “life” in the photo. This photo I feel like I have managed to actually catch this butterfly (Large skipper) with some life in it as it crawls around on the flowers sucking up the nectar from the flowers. I like the light in this photo as well as the pink flowers which kind of frames the butterfly. I a also very pleased with the sharpness being on the “right” spot so to speak.

#4 The clan leader

Just around the corner from where I like I found this “colony” of fantastically colored Stink bugs that turned out to be one of my practice motives. It took me quite a few tries before I managed a photo that I was pleased with. This is a good example of a photo with good contrast between colors in the front and the background. If I could have wished for more I would have wanted to manage a better depth of field so that the whole bug would have been sharp, but again it is not easy with freehand, you are kinda stuck with low f# values. I’ve cropped down this photo quite a lot to get the focus of the surroundings.

#3 In the mighty jungle

Not only am I pleased with the photo itself, the abstract shapes of the green background in contrast to the white/yellow buterfly and the composition itself. But most of all I am pleased with the way I shot it. I was following this butterfly as it flew in underneath this big leaf, with no real possibility to stick my head in there and look I carefully lowered the camera down to where I saw the butterfly and shot “blindly” into the jungle of big leafs. So all in all it is a very lucky shot, but I guess sometimes you also need a bit of luck to get the photos right?

#2 As I lay me down

I really had a touch time choosing between this and the previous one but I eventually chose this one for the second place. I was studying several Skipper butterflies among some bush flowers when one suddenly flew down to the grass and sat down on the only flower there. Slowly I lied myself down and crawled very carefully closer and closer and eventually managed to shoot about 40 photos of this butterfly. I love the composition of it, the depth of field with the abstract green blurry background. The only thing that I would have wanted to change is the grass straw just behind the butterfly that appears very bright, and it was even brighter before I lowered the brightness of that section in Lightroom, but apart from that I am super pleased with this photo!

 

#1 The way of the dragon fly

My choice for the number one spot was easy, this photo has been my favorite since I shot it and I still love it. I got only three photos shot of this golden dragon fly as it was sitting high up on the fence of my neighbors. You see how shallow the depth of field is when you look below the dragon fly, it is not the shadow from i, it is the only part of the fence that is sharp. Super sharp, with great colors and light…. yep, I am pleased and a little proud of this too 🙂


More light box photos

Still with only two small desktop lamps on each side, nothing on top, and the crappy 18-55 mm kit lens (wish I could afford to buy me a macro lens…) and with that in mind I think the results are really good.

I have added my own White balance but I need to adjust it a little because the  photos gets a little grey. F11 /2,5 s / ISO100 are good set ups for most flies but for the awesome Steve Silverio fly below I used F28 to try and get full focus on the whole of that big fly.

Yeah, I cranked out some of the flies I got as gifts or swaps in the US and practiced the photographing with the lightbox on those because I wanted to try it on some larger flies.

First this fantastic deer hair tube tied by Steven C.Washer

The I took a bunch of photos on this again fantastic deer hair fly tied by my homeboy Pat Cohen:

Lastly I gave this big Steve Silverio fly a try, as I said I needed to use much wider apperateure for that and it was the hardes to get a good clear light photo of, probably the kind of motive that would benefit from a third light from the top too.

Here’s the basic set up on the fly tying table, I actually like to use “Live view” on the camera when I am taking these shots or hook it up to the laptop and use that as a remote.


Lightbox

I worked this past weekend on making a real lightbox for photography of mainly flies. I did one very fragile about a year ago with only regular printer papers but this time made it from a real sturdy cardboard box.

The base for the lightbox, but not finished on this photo

Once it was finished I just took it to my tying room and lit it with my two small desptop lamps and nothing else, the result are quite good. I am gonna try and add a third lamp from the top too.

 

 


Photo – Choose wisely

I live close to (as far as I know) the longest tunnel in Sweden. And just as you are about to reach the other end there is this sign on the wall. I love it!


Photo – goldie locks

From last summer, my youngest son Wilmer with his baby curls. Sometime black and white are just perfect… ❤


Photo – rainbow over the river of pearls

Some photos you can’t really put any good words too. They speak for themselves. This particular one was taken by my friend Björn Arkenfall when we was fishing at the River of pearls back in 2008.

Beautiful!