Dancing Around the Focus

dance fly feeding with long proboscis

Empidid flies, a.k.a. dance flies, often have long, pointy proboscis, such as this specimen feeding on a weed flower.

This image was a bit of a lesson in focusing, sharpness, and resolution for me. The focal plane was just a hair behind the facing side of the dance fly (family Empididae), and in macro photography, a hair is plenty. If you look at the full size image, you can see how it’s a bit soft on the body, how the compound eye lenses aren’t quite sharp all the way to the front, especially in contrast to the hairy legs on the back side.

The funny thing is if you don’t look at the full-size image, you might not notice much of a difference. I guess that makes resolution a bit of a funny thing. Many shots have popped in off my low-res camera LCD to be much less sharp than I had perceived. It would seem the only way to “rescue” these images would be to down sample them. I used to save some shots like that — a perfect composition only comes along so often! — but I’ve given up on them, mostly in favor of hard drive space. The really close ones, like the one here, still get to hang around though.

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