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Vote 39
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By brian1208
For the non- SciFi readers, a BEM is a Bug Eyed Monster, although I think this Red Damsel Fly is rather pretty. I got really up close and personal with this on using my 90mm Tamron + 65mm of extension tubes. As it was a grey day and it was hiding under a bush I had to use ISO800 + fill-in flash. NeatImage handled the noise OK though.

Tags: Close-up and macro

Voters: mattmatic, headskiesfly, johnjohn01 and 36 more

Readers' Choice Awards are given to photos that get over 30 votes

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lamedos 14 39
12 May 2004 6:58AM
Excellent, focus is spot on and colours are wonderful.

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jules41 14 197 United Kingdom
12 May 2004 7:02AM
What fabulous eyes,not that i'd want to stare into them mind,fabulously taken Brian,you've captured good detail,and is he grinning for the camera?!!nice one*click*
robsta 14 11
12 May 2004 7:12AM
The detail in this pic is brilliant, definately gets my click! Smile
ericfaragh Plus
14 149 4 United Kingdom
12 May 2004 7:19AM
Nice shot Brian.
jon1169 14 51 United Kingdom
12 May 2004 7:25AM
Another stunning macro shot - you just keep getting closer and closer! Superb detail.
IanA 14 3.0k 12 England
12 May 2004 7:30AM
I'm surprised you've got any plants left in your garden Brian, the number of differing bugs you entertain!! LOL

Very good macro again!

Ian (clicked)
rc 14 50
12 May 2004 7:51AM
up close and personal - great composition too - really filling up the frame
Terry L Plus
14 596 5 England
12 May 2004 7:58AM
Wow, thats up close Brian, excellent detail.
Very good macro work.

Nadia 15
12 May 2004 8:01AM
Very good and interesting imgage, well done!
brian1208 Plus
14 11.4k 12 United Kingdom
12 May 2004 8:07AM
Thanks to you all for your positive comments, much appreciated.

Ian - a well ordered "Big Bug Reserve" has predators and prey - so if you are lucky they keep each other under control. We do get a few nibbled plants but I think it is worth it for the variety and interest they bring.

rc - I cropped about 40% of the original image to get the composition, so can't claim that I framed it like this "in camera"

mattmatic 14 598
12 May 2004 8:36AM
Funnily enough - it looks like me in the mornings Grin
Great macro work Brian! Creeping up on creepy crawlies like that (it was probably trying to have a quiet moment by itself!) Wink
johnjohn01 16 58 England
12 May 2004 8:39AM
Nice close up Brian and nicely cropped. I'd have to superglue it to the leaf to get that close. Of course I'd have to catch it first.
12 May 2004 8:40AM
First thoughts were urrghh and wow! Bit of a contradiction really but crackin' shot. Klick from me.
naturenut 15 1.8k England
12 May 2004 9:41AM
Oh .. my word .. that is close Brian, well done, is it grinning ? I took a bug shot last night which looks to be wearing a crash helmet ! Click.
rockin 14 16
12 May 2004 10:08AM
One of the best macro shots I have seen...superb.
PatriciaWilson 14 615 58 Greece
12 May 2004 11:27AM
Wow! You're a genius! Click!
brian1208 Plus
14 11.4k 12 United Kingdom
12 May 2004 11:58AM
Matt, John, K, Margaret, Robin & Patricia - thanks for the kind comments (I wonder if Pete will see this in the same way? Smile Margaret, I managed to get within about 4 inches (had to because of the extension tubes) to take this, very uncomfortable & undignified crawling about on my bum under bushes - LOL I want to see this motorcycling bug of yours.

tull 14 181 United Kingdom
12 May 2004 12:34PM
Amazing, deserves a EC...tull
brian1208 Plus
14 11.4k 12 United Kingdom
12 May 2004 12:36PM
Thanks tull, doubt it will get one, I don't think "Bug Shots" appeal that much to the "Keeper of ECs" Smile

12 May 2004 12:49PM
Brian this is amazing and I agree with tull this is EC stuff without a doubt. Sadly I agree with you also.
Keep at it Brian this is stunning.
brian1208 Plus
14 11.4k 12 United Kingdom
12 May 2004 12:51PM
Richard, thanks - I'm not unhappy about Pete's choices, it is after all just that, what appeals to him. If I get positive feedback from my peers on this site and feel that my work is improving that's all I need Smile

johnjohn01 16 58 England
12 May 2004 12:54PM
Brian - your work is getting better and better with each submission
billma 14 119 United States
12 May 2004 1:16PM
Ouch! That is close and sharp. It is just excellent. Stuff the rest of us dream of.

Good work.
brian1208 Plus
14 11.4k 12 United Kingdom
12 May 2004 1:24PM
John, Bill thanks for the positive reactions,

andytvcams 15 10.4k 1 United Kingdom
12 May 2004 1:48PM
Brian,this is just outstanding and should get an EC Award in my book,top quality work.

brian1208 Plus
14 11.4k 12 United Kingdom
12 May 2004 1:49PM
Andy, thanks for the kind comment.

naturenut 15 1.8k England
12 May 2004 2:40PM
Brian, you can see him here ...
cycling bug ;o)
brian1208 Plus
14 11.4k 12 United Kingdom
12 May 2004 2:55PM
that is a cracking good shot of a fly Margaret, you have captured the eyes very sharply. Fascinating critters close up, Brian
sze4j 14 56 Singapore
12 May 2004 5:15PM
Wow!! Brian, i always learn something new from your photos...this is brilliant...i really like those eyes...

BTW, thought he looks like a 'grandfather fly'...see those moustache around its mouth... LOL! =)

brian1208 Plus
14 11.4k 12 United Kingdom
12 May 2004 6:01PM
sez, thanks for commenting - glad you find my shots informative Smile Lurking under the moustache is a wicked set of mandibles which you can just see if you look closely. Not something to get close to if you are a small insect.

(I have a "Grandfather Moustache" as well - must be why I am so attracted to these?

gillymot 14 14
12 May 2004 6:18PM
"What big eyes you have ....", great shot so much detail, click
brian1208 Plus
14 11.4k 12 United Kingdom
12 May 2004 6:26PM
thanks David

sze4j 14 56 Singapore
12 May 2004 6:44PM
Bet you don't have a similar set of mandibles behind those "Grandfather Moustache"...even if you have, am sure they are not 'wicked'. LOL!! =)
brian1208 Plus
14 11.4k 12 United Kingdom
12 May 2004 6:55PM
podgod 14 513 3 United Kingdom
12 May 2004 7:09PM
Superb shot, another fine addition to the rest of your birds and bugs.
brian1208 Plus
14 11.4k 12 United Kingdom
12 May 2004 8:02PM
Thanks Brad

12 May 2004 9:04PM
Wow Brian that's close. Superb shot, well done.

notabimbo 14 9
13 May 2004 1:03AM
WOW...awesome macro.
brian1208 Plus
14 11.4k 12 United Kingdom
13 May 2004 7:02AM
Mary, Amy - thanks for taking the time to comment

PatriciaWilson 14 615 58 Greece
13 May 2004 2:30PM
Sorry, forgot to click yesterday:-I
seven21 14 196
13 May 2004 7:25PM
Great shot Brian - looks as if his eyes are separate to his? body at this magnification - the wonders of evolution - steve
13 May 2004 7:49PM
Wow!!! Thats absolutely beautiful...nice comp. too


brian1208 Plus
14 11.4k 12 United Kingdom
13 May 2004 9:01PM
Steve, Carsten - thanks for commenting.

Steve - I agree, the more I look the more astonished I get. I've said it before, so much to learn, so little time left to do it! Smile

ajv 14 Portugal
13 May 2004 9:29PM
You are a macro man!!! Smile

brian1208 Plus
14 11.4k 12 United Kingdom
14 May 2004 7:24AM
Thanks Alvaro

rc 14 50
14 May 2004 1:18PM
well worth the crop - a valuable skill in computer too!
brian1208 Plus
14 11.4k 12 United Kingdom
14 May 2004 1:23PM
Thanks Russell,

ron thomas Plus
14 11 1 United Kingdom
14 May 2004 10:47PM
This is super stuff, it's a real cracker!

brian1208 Plus
14 11.4k 12 United Kingdom
15 May 2004 5:44AM
Cheers Ron,

lovelylindax 14 16
15 May 2004 11:04AM
Wow Brian - this is such a great shot isnt it
Linda x
brian1208 Plus
14 11.4k 12 United Kingdom
15 May 2004 11:15AM
I was pleased with this one Linda :0)

fishiee 14 478 3 United Kingdom
15 May 2004 8:25PM
Only just foind this one Brian. seems I missed your last few posts. This shot is amazing! No way I can get near that with the sigma! Out of curiosity, how much was the extension tube set Brian? I'm thinking of going for either the Tamron or if I treat myself, the Canon Macro... once I've tried out the sigma with 1:1 filter of course.

The Tamron is certainly looking good if shots like this are possible! Truly incredible sharpness. Shema it never had a shave before the photo shoot though!

I'd be interested as to what flash you use as I find the built in flash on my canon makes close up shots look a bit hard edged. Then again I don't use the flash much at all, so maybe more practice is needed with it.
fishiee 14 478 3 United Kingdom
15 May 2004 8:27PM
Oh. meant to add that I love the eyes on these insects. In fact the eyse on most insects are quite wonderful. Hence I want to get in close to them!
brian1208 Plus
14 11.4k 12 United Kingdom
15 May 2004 9:26PM
John, the extension tubes I use are Jessops cheapies (about 85 from memory). This shot was made with the on-board flash and I was suprised how well it came out. Settings were: f5.6, ISO800, 1/125 sec. Hand-held. Distance to subject around 4 inches, at a guess.

Interestingly when checking the data I found I had another shot without the flash. It was a bit flatter and the eyes weren't as bright but there was not a great deal of difference in the exposure so the auto -metering seems to work OK even with the three tubes fitted Smile

Thanks for your interest & comments

fishiee 14 478 3 United Kingdom
16 May 2004 4:40AM
Impressive stuff! I'm amazed the flash doesn't get obscured by the lense at that close range! I have seen the Jessops ring set in their catalogue. Might have to consider those then. ssumed they'd not be that great for that price, but this shot proves otherwise!

First thing I thought when I saw this shot was "You sod!" for getting such a fantastic shot before I had the equipment to try it first. Now I've got a real challenge on my hands to get something worthy to put online!

I'm amazed you could get it this sharp hand held at 1/125. I would asume camera shake is more of a problem that close with the lens and tubes than the Sigma is at full zoom? I like to try and shoot around the 1/500 or above if I can with that, though sometimes as slow as 1/250 comes out sharp and surprises me(like the dung fly). Maybe you just have a better technique for holding things steady?

THat's another reason why I tend to try and get away without the flash as that limits me to 1/200 with the built in one on the camera.
brian1208 Plus
14 11.4k 12 United Kingdom
16 May 2004 7:38AM
I was wedged in such a position that the camera was steady (very uncomfortable but worth it). Normally I would be looking for about 1/400th or faster.
Greyheron 16 282 7 England
16 May 2004 9:39PM
Glad to be click number 30 with this superb macro Brian.....stunning work! I love close-up work as you know & would be well pleased to have this in my portfolio :o)
Wonderful colour & detail with the composition working well alongside the DOF......CLICK!

brian1208 Plus
14 11.4k 12 United Kingdom
17 May 2004 7:38AM
Mike, kind comments - many thanks

17 May 2004 10:11AM
Wow thats amazing... so clear... excellent...
brian1208 Plus
14 11.4k 12 United Kingdom
17 May 2004 10:27AM
Thanks Tracy,

warb 14 839
21 May 2004 10:32AM
absolutely STINGING!
brian1208 Plus
14 11.4k 12 United Kingdom
21 May 2004 11:04AM
Cheer warb, I think its really pretty but I was always accused of odd taste Smile

warb 14 839
22 May 2004 12:57AM
no i agree, in a strange way, lovely eyes :o)
funkeldink 14 1.6k 1 Australia
23 May 2004 10:29AM
thewaiter 16 1.2k 9 England
4 Jun 2004 6:54AM
Wow stunning macro work, your porfolio is excellant
brian1208 Plus
14 11.4k 12 United Kingdom
4 Jun 2004 9:42AM
Thanks funkeldink & Kevin (funkeldink and thewaiter - could there be a re-run of a '60s hippy pop duo? Smile

Sorry to be tardy in replying funkeldink - NTL has been screwing up the BB system something rotten down here for the last 5 weeks or more

tepot 13 4.4k United Kingdom
26 Nov 2010 1:16AM
superb colours with the point of focus spot on.


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