Oops, well you’ve screwed yourself there haven’t you?!

Examining a common housefly up close

Well, it’s day 30 and my macro obsession reached new (delightful) heights today when I captured some shots I am extremely proud of BUT, I will never be able to top these for my last day and grand finale tomorrow on day 31. I have considered leaving these shots until tomorrow and presenting them then as a final ‘wow’, but I then figured that would be cheating – afterall, why not set myself an insurmountable challenge for my last day of the macro challenge?!

I’ll let you into a secret – the fly is deceased, gone. It is a fly no more.  Please do not judge me when I say I found it on its back whilst taking the bins out and got so excited I had to carry it inside for a bit of a macro ‘sesh’.

I would like to reiterate that I do not do (or believe in) bait and capture, but I figured I can make an exception when I am prepared to pick up dead insects and welcome them onto my coffee table to honour them in death. I just could not resist the chance to photograph a non twitching insect and it’s the first time I have had such satisfaction from a man made shoot since my sheepskin rug photography session.

The fly was placed on the same blue glass block used last weekend and luck would have it that I have not yet thrown away my dying daisy flower so it’s still dropping seeds (again, please do not judge – I have kept the decaying flower ‘just in case’ ).

Despite the fact that the fly was dead, it was still a tricky shot to master in the fading natural light. I tried illuminating it several different ways with artifical lighting, but found that this either over exposed the shot beyond repair or highlighted far too many imperfections and details on the glass block which detracted from the fly as the main subject. I consistently altered the position of the subject, the lighting and glass block to ensure that I could get a crystal clear reflection. I also wanted to try and work with a much lower ISO tonight to take advantage of this rare opportunity and ensure the shot was not too noisy. In the end, the shot above was captured with a flash and ISO 1000 which is higher than I wanted but otherwise I could not get the shutter speed needed to negate blur in the reflection and in the finer detail around the fly. I used f/9, exposure bias -2/3 EV and a shutter speed of 1/13 sec. What I am especially happy about is that I have done very little post processing on these images. I challenged myself to produce as much of a perfect shot as I could straight out of the camera.. given that I had it easy because my subject was dead 🙂

The shot below was deliberately shot to be a little intimidating. It was taken using the camera’s inbuilt flash at 1/25 sec, ISO 1000, exposure bias -2/3 EV  and at f/14.

Additional images from tonight’s photography session are available in my online macro photography gallery.

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