Hover Fly

Critique Style Requested: Standard

The photographer is looking for generalized feedback about the aesthetic and technical qualities of their image.


Hover Fly seen in our garden this afternoon.

Specific Feedback

Saw this tiny fly today and decided to give it a go despite a wind making things difficult. I just took a single shot because of the wind. Is the sharpness on critical areas fine enough? Would this be a keeper for you?

Technical Details

Canon 7D mark II, Sigma 150 f2.8 macro, 1.4x teleconverter, 430 EX II speedlite, Angler PSFD-100 Speedlight diffuser.
ISO 400, f32, 1/250s, Flash @ 1/8 power, monopod

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In short, yes and yes. I like the composition very much, how you show both edges of the leaf. At f32 you could have gone for sharpness throughout the insect, but your very interesting composition led you to something different. The diffuser kept that reflection low, and for me it’s all about the eye, which looks great at this angle. (For another shot I might have tried to catch the iridescence in the wings - maybe you did this).

Hi Mike, yes I tried different angles but settled on this one as my favorite especially since the wind made it tough to catch even one frame fairly sharp. At one point in time this tiny guy had its wings outstretched but that did not last for long. Thank you for the comment.

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Allen, I think you did a fine job capturing this little guy, especially in the wind. Not an easy task. Definitely a keeper! Yes, I think the sharpness on the critical areas are fine. I like the angle of the fly on the leaf. Nice.

Plenty of sharpness and personality to be a keeper. Hover flies are so great. That bouncing thing they do with their butts - hilarious. Plus they are excellent pollinators and all around good guys. Entertaining, too. I love watching them and I think you’ve caught their distinctive character here. If a fly can have character. And just look at those feet!

I never realized a Hoverfly had so much interesting detail. You lighted and captured it very well — no need for more DOF here for me. More than a keeper. (As in “More Than a Rock.”)


This a lovely image of a Hoverfly and I like the angle you went with. The background is nice as well and not completely “blacked out” which sometimes happens with closeup flash.

At f/32 I would expect some diffusion softening on the full-size image, but considering how many nice hairs and other details you have I think it will hold up pretty well as a keeper :slight_smile: If anything, and this is picking at minute details, I might try to tone down the highlight on the leaf edge to the right. It’s pulling my eye a bit from the main subject by being so bright.

Nice shot all in all. Flies are really cool looking but can be so hard to photograph and I think you did a great job on this one.

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