William Anderson wrote:So I'm giving it a go.
William, apart from anything else, great to see one of your flies... very cool
As for photography, can't add too much to what has been said so well by Ray - in fact i learned rather a lot - I had no idea you could attach photos directly to the furum! lol
Key points in macro photography:
1: Make sure your camera has a macro setting!
2: Exposure - you want the maximum depth of field you can get. If your camera has a manual setting, choose the smallest aperture you can, which corresponds to the biggest f number. If you use an auto setting, this is what your camera is doing for you. But it is always as well to understand why your camera is doing what it is. The smallest aperture means the longest exposure possible. This means, if you are to avoid camera shake, you need:
3: A tripod. If you are buying a camera, make sure it has a tripod bush (screw thread) so it can be attached to a tripod. Tripods need not be expensive. In fact, you can get very cheap table top tripods which are great for fly photography. Example here:
http://www.jessops.com/online.store/cat ... /Show.html
4: Lighting. You never photograph things - you photograph light on things.
Consequently, lighting is all important. Daylight is fine, some would say, for colour rendition, best. Flash I don't personally use for macro, but mark gave some good hints about softening the light with filters. I use two daylight balanced bulbs (craft bulbs) in normal angle poise lamps. The reason for this is that I take a lot of photographs, and it makes the whole process very quick, because the lighting, and the exposure, is practically the same for every shot.
5: Background. This is where you can get creative. One of the effects of such a short depth of field in macro photography (need that small aperture, remember?) is that anything in the backgroud is thrown completely out of focus very quickly. this can create some interesting effects and make the most unlikely materials good into backgrounds. Ruard uses this to good effect on this forum, I've noticed, and he is by no means alone. My background is just a normal house slate, thrown out of focus. I use this again because it is quick - I prop the slate up against the vice, swing in the two lights, click and it is done.
So have a play!
So, if choosing a camera for fly photography, this is what I would look for, consider essential:
1: macro setting (this will, amongst other things, take care of selecting that smallest possible aperture.)
2: Make sure it has a tripod bush.
3: Some manual control, at least. But this is maybe just me, and as you've probably gathered by now, I am a control freak
4: Buy the best you can afford, given its degree of priority for you, and your available budget! By and large, you get what you pay for, and the more you pay will get you better optics and image resolution. But, the good news is, you can get more than acceptable results for a reasonably modest outlay. I once did some fly shots with a fuji fine pix compact, just to show what was possible. I'll try and dig them out.
5: Invest a little bit of time understanding the basic mechanics of photographic exposure - the interaction between shutter speed and aperture, and its effect on depth of field. It will make your photographs better, at the very least you will understand what your camera is doing, and inform you when a bit of meddling might be in order.