Friday, February 28, 2014

Set up for photographing the finished fly (Part 6 of 6)

Part 6 of a 6 part series

My friend Eric emailed me last week to let me know he was getting set for a fly fishing trip to Alaska and wanted to photograph his flies.  I thought I'd link him  to the tutorials I'd written here, but then realized I had stopped at part 5 of 6.

So... I have just finished Part 6 of 6.

[To read the first five parts of this series, click on "fly tying photography" in the list of keywords in the left side margin... or, you can use this link:

Below, as an alternative to photographing a finished fly in the vise, I show two other techniques for holding the fly in place.  I like the E-Z Hackle Pliers (about $3 at Cabelas) because the fly can be held just a few inches above a flat surface making it easier to bounce light up and under the fly.

So, here is what I did to prepare the fly

1) Place a big piece of white poster board on my desk
2) Place the fly in the E-Z pliers and stand it up
3) Find something to use as a background.  Here I have used a green folder.
4) Angle two desk lamps so that they aim toward the fly but are also aimed down to bounce light off the white poster board
5) Find a book thick enough on which to place the camera (or use a desk top tripod)

Here's how I to set up the camera assuming you have no manual controls for F-stop or shutter speed.

1) Set custom white balance.  You usually need a white piece of paper to aim the camera at.  The white poster board does the trick!
2) Set the camera to macro
3) Turn off the flash
4) Set the 10 second timer
5) Place the camera on the book
6) Half press the shutter to focus the camera
7) Press the shutter fully to activate the timer

Here's another idea.  I put the fly into a small Leatherman pocket tool.  It stands up nicely.  But in this case I did not use a book to support the camera, nor did I use a tripod.  Instead I braced my forearms against the front of the desk.  If you try this, don't forget to use the self-timer.  I used the 2 second timer.  This prevents the shake that comes from pressing the shutter button.

Use two hands. I'm holding with one hand here, because my right
hand is taking the picture using a second camera.
Note my forearm is resting on the edge of the desk.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Muddler Minnows: A fly that uses its head

My friend Paul DiNolo has written an article about muddlers that will appear in "On The Water" magazine (March, 2014).  He's also written a few paragraphs specifically for which I uploaded to the Web site yesterday, along with six or seven muddler photos.  All the flies were tied by Paul.  I took the photos using a couple of desk lamps and a green folder for the background. The flies were supported horizontally a few inches above my desk by standing "E-Z pliers" on end.

Below is just one of the photos, this one being a standard muddler tied in the "Dan Bailey" style (i.e. full head, rather than the original Gapen design which was tied rather sparsely).

New: check out the photos and Paul's text and comments on my Web site, here: