Imagined Clarity (featured by a hover fly)

syrphid fly feed on parsley anther

This syrphid fly is holding the parsley anther like a cup in its hands.

The primary, dominant theme in macro challenges is narrow depth of field: how do I fit my subject into that tiny window of focus? Unless, we are dancing around it with focus stacking software, that is the question. In this shot, I’d argue the parsley once again makes for a beautiful backdrop and landscape, but much like yesterday’s jumping spider, the room for improvement is getting the subject into a better field of focus. With the dorsal shot of the spider, ideally I’d get the whole body in focus, but barring that and assuming I’d have to choose, it is probably debatable whether the abdomen (the bottom part) or the cephalothorax (the head/upper body) are more desirable. In this profile shot of the syrphid fly, the eye is going to rule, and thankfully that’s the one thing I got in really good focus. Having the length of the body also in focus would have been nice but only the slightest edges are really sharp. I like the parsley bud in front, but I’m not sure that focus helps the overall composition. (Still I”m a sucker for parsley. Tabooli, anyone?) I am, of course, examining this in a very “close-up” and critical way. Stepping back, even though the body is out of focus, I think the focus has a bit of imagined clarity that belies its actual blurriness. It’s a clarity that good macro photographs exhibit, a phenomenon almost like the fictional dream of a good story or novel, which draws the reader in, invokes a suspension of disbelief, and allows us to see things that aren’t “really” there.

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