All posts tagged fly

This was a bit of a surprise, I must say.
I seem to have been slightly lucky with flies in the past, and this time there was another one that was very willing to model.
Typically this wouldn’t be a fly I would warmly welcome. In Dutch it has the very unflattering name “strontvlieg”, literally translated “shit fly”. The golden dung fly (a slightly more becoming name), named after – exactly – the location where it can commonly be found.
Only I didn’t find it on a pile of dung. Where I did find it, was on one of the late blooming colorful flowers in the garden. The combination of colorful flowers and equally colorful fly made for – I think – a few fantastic images.

And oh my… Do I love my D800. Check out the 100% crops. Is that great or what? Not only the hairs on the fly, but also my reflection on its back. Wow! 🙂 🙂

Golden dung fly

D800, ISO100, 1/125 sec @ f/5.6, Tamron 90mm

Golden dung fly

D800, ISO100, 1/125 sec @ f/4.8, Tamron 90mm

Golden dung fly

100% crop of the image

Golden dung fly

D800, ISO100, 1/500 sec @ f/4.8, Tamron 90mm

Golden dung fly

D800, ISO100, 1/125 sec @ f/5, Tamron 90mm

Golden dung fly

D800, ISO100, 1/250 sec @ f/5.6, Tamron 90mm

Golden dung fly

100% crop of the image

You don’t find rainbows on and under the leaves. Other colorful and not so colorful stuff you do.
This little bug(ger) was very patient and let me do my thing for about 10 minutes, before taking of. I guess it thought that after turning left, right and face front I must’ve got all there was to shoot of it. And I did.

Fly sitting on a leaf

D800, ISO1600, 1/350 sec @ f/4, Nikkor 105mm

Fly sitting on a leaf

D800, ISO400, 1/180 sec @ f/4, Nikkor 105mm

And then this weird thing… We were heading out of the woods and I happened to spot it crawling around on a leaf. Funky stuff going on in those tentacles/antennas (whatever you call them). I thought it was some sort of thing to lure or keep away other animals. It really looked like there was a maggot inside of them moving up and down. When I was keywording for stock and searched for the snail with maggot like antennas I came across the Wikipedia page where it was explained that this snail was infected with a parasite. It’s originally in bird poop, where the snail eats from and ingests the parasite. The parasite then starts to consume the snail slowly and it nestles in the tentacles, basically switching off the snails ability to determine whether it’s light or dark, so it doesn’t know whether to hide or not, thus being a nice little prey for birds, who then consume the snail including parasite, which returns to the digestive system of the bird and ends up in the bird poop, where another snail east from and ingests the parasite. Etc. etc. etc. Amazing how nature does its thing, isn’t it?

Snail infected with a parasite in its tentacles

D800, ISO400, 1/350 sec @ f/4.8, Nikkor 105mm

Another parasite, or pest, plague, if you like, is this one.

Sack of the tent caterpillar hanging under a tree trunk

D800, ISO100, 1/250 sec @ f/5.6, Tamron 90mm, on-camera flash

The caterpillar makes some sort of web around the entire tree and eats it completely empty. The web is funny stuff. It feels like plastic, the kind of plastic they vacuum-wrap food and other products in, and it’s super strong. It doesn’t feel at all sticky like a spider’s web. This image doesn’t really do it justice, but the light was beautiful, especially reflecting off of the webs. Destructive as it is, it does look really pretty.

Webs of the tent caterpillar in the branches of a tree

D800, ISO200, 1/750 sec @ f/4, Nikkor 70-200mm

And then there was still this little fellow, who at first I thought was dead, but then regained consciousness and took off. I did get my pictures, though 🙂

Bumble bee on a thistle

D800, ISO800, 1/350 sec @ f/4, Tamron 90mm

The bee photo is a focus stack of 10 images. I wanted the whole flower and the bee in focus and since the little guy played dead for awhile, it gave me all the time to get enough images to do the focus stacking.

My friend was kind enough to lend me his new Nikkor 105mm macro with VR. I have a Tamron 90mm (it’s about 8 years old, I think, and my only non-Nikkor lens) and I’ve been considering for awhile already to switch. I never got to try it out, though, even if a couple of my photographer-buddies have offered to lend it to me. This day I did give it a go, and I must honestly admit that, with the images that I shot, there’s not much difference in quality and sharpness. One clear difference is that the Nikkor focuses at least twice as fast. The Tamron really needs a clear contrast in the image for the autofocus to properly lock on. If there isn’t enough contrast, the lens keeps on searching and you get the annoying buzz of the lens zooming in and out to try to find something to focus on (and your object/subject/target will probably have left by the time you decide to switch to manual). So in terms of quality I would stick with my Tamron. The massive price of the Nikkor doesn’t justify the switch for me. I know when to autofocus and when to manually focus, so that’s no issue for me. However… If someone would have a (good as new) Nikkor for a good price up for sale, I would probably still get rid of the Tamron and buy the Nikkor.

Just like the kite jumper these fellows didn’t seem to have any problems with the hard wind either.
They actually seemed to be rather enjoying themselves. Chillin’ on the “waves”…

D800, ISO100, 1/125 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 50mm


Sea gull

D800, ISO100, 1/180 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 50mm

La Palma

I’m sure they’re all over the world, and not only in La Palma, but this little… (hmm, well… it actually wasn’t all that little…) bugger I couldn’t really miss sitting in the sun. It was so big I didn’t even need the macro lens for it 😀
One of these “attacked” me on the camping in El Hierro, when we were having breakfast…

D200, ISO100, 1/250 sec @ f/8, Tamron 28-75mm

D200, ISO100, 1/250 sec @ f/8, Tamron 28-75mm


We had it coming already for a couple of days, and after 3 weeks of pretty much non-stop rain I was really looking forward to it. SNOW!
Some slush to begin with, but last night it started seriously snowing. Now I only hope that it’ll get more and that it’ll stay until next year. Last year’s winter sucked moosepeckers. We “celebrated” my first snowless Christmas since moving to Finland.

There was a little bug on the window looking out, probably content with itself being on the inside of the window, not on the outside. It IS quite important, if you’re a one-day fly that the quality of your life is good and snowless.
Unfortunately the quality of its life wasn’t catless and Cassandra did have a protein rich breakfast… And the fly turned out to be not-quite-a-complete-one-day fly.

Enjoy the snow while you still can...

Enjoy the snow while you still can...