Fly tiers are happy to share their flies with other fly tiers. One way is to show pictures on the web. Unfortunately, the images you see often are so bad that you can hardly see what the fly looks like. It is quite unnecessary, since it’s simple to get a good picture. Below you can see how I do when I quickly want to take a picture of a new fly. Well, it works with old flies as well. Click on images to enlarge.
Camera, tripod: For macro photography, it is necessary that the camera stays absolutely still, without vibrations. A tripod is of course the best, but you can also put your camera on, for example, some books. Also use self-timer to avoid all kinds of camera shake.
Camera, focusing distance: Do you have a decent digital camera you can get good pictures of your flies. Do you have a compact camera, find the macro function (the symbol usually is a small flower). With the macro function activated, you can go as close to the fly as necessary.
Do you have a digital SLR and a macro lens, you can also go close. If you don’t have a macro lens, you can go as close as you can with your lens. It is important that you have the camera’s image settings set to highest quality. This ensures that you later will be able to crop the image, to focus on the fly.
Camera, White Balance (WB): If you use regular incandescent bulbs, set the camera white balance on incandescent bulb. If you don’t, the picture will be too yellow. An even better option is to set the white balance manually (works only on SLR and advanced compact cameras). To make the adjustments change between different cameras, so consult the manual. If you know the color temperature of the lights you use you can set exactly the white balance for the best result, or you can try different color temperatures. I think I have the camera set to 2400 K when I use incandescent bulbs. Read more about color temperature here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_temperature.
The white paper under the fly is there to reflect the light to the underside of the fly, to get an even light.
Adjust the lamps for best results. Perhaps one lamp should be closer to the fly than the other. Maybe they should be located more above the fly. You have to try to get the best result.
With this kind of light settings, the background will turn quite dark. Do you want a lighter back ground, you must highlight it with another lamp.
The easiest way is to keep the fly in the vise, but you can of course find other options: a forceps, a stick, a hackle pliers.
You can see both lamps and the white paper reflected in the gold bead. You can also see that I adjusted the lights so one is closer to the fly. This is to avoid that the gold bead gets too light.