I was testing a new flash set-up in my garden the other day and found a few of these tiny flies (Meiosimyza sp.) wandering around on a bracken fern. They were tiny (4-5mm long; about 1/10 inch), colourful and mobile: the perfect test subjects for the flash!
I shot the fly at F16, so the resolution isn’t as sharp as it could be. I would have preferred to use F11, but I needed as much depth of field as I find hand-holding the camera for subjects this small is difficult at the best of times, but I found the new flash set-up a little too heavy and clumsy. It didn’t help of course that the flies were sitting on a fern only about 30cm (1 foot) above the ground, and it would have been easier if I’d attached the camera to a monopod. So I got a lot of nicely exposed but out of focus pictures; a few nicely exposed pictures where the fly had turned away from the camera; and this one nicely exposed, composed and properly focused photo. Clearly I am on the right track as far as lighting, but I think I need something lighter and simpler that gives the same results. I really need something that sets-up in seconds, preferably with the flash attached directly to the camera hot shoe. I have some ideas for how to put that together...
sm fly may 18_filtered by ernie.cooper, on Flickr