It Came from Outer Space (Big-headed Fly)

Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


I was photographing one of our native mint species to get some images for stacking when a very unusual fly showed up. I photographed the fly and continued with my quest for getting the perfect stack. The fly is a member of the Conopidae and are known as big headed flies. This one is an important pollinator for wild basil, the mint pictured here. After returning home, I sorted through the images and liked this one the best. Unfortunately, while framing for the mint, not much room was left at the top so I used some content aware fill to generate the appropriate material for the space above the fly.

Specific Feedback

Please let me know how you like the generative fill at the top of the image.

Technical Details

Z9 200mm f4 (1/160 sec at f20, ISO 1600, fill flash at -2ev) Crop for comp, increase canvas size at top with content aware fill, Levels…Jim

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I knew this was yours, from the thumbnail!
Beautiful fly on great pink flowers. Your usual fine detail, colours, and comp.
If you needed to add some space on the top, you might consider getting rid of the dark brown and green areas on the right, too

Very cool, Jim. It certainly is a wild looking fly and your plane of focus was excellent. I’m having trouble making out all the legs (or is there something else mixed in with them?) that cross under the head, but there’s not much you could do about that without destroying your setup for the mint and the fly would have left anyhow.

Great look at this unusual fly Jim. Mark made me look for all the legs, and they seem to be there, the back legs just at weird angles, like flies do. Your content aware generative fill looks very natural at the top. Love the soft pink flowers and nice job getting a good DOF on the fly.

Jim, this is really neat, I have never seen this kind of fly before. It is always a treat when out photographing to get a surprise like this, a bonus if you will. Nicely done.