Simple Pretty Flower with a Simple Pretty Visitor :)

I like this photo. I do not care for flies much though, so it’s taken me a while to really appreciate the image. I remember when I was taking the photo that I saw the insect through the viewfinder, and I thought that it couldn’t be a fly as he’s too pretty, and he’s eating off of a flower. But yes, he’s a fly. And I think he’s beautiful (even as something in my throat kind of threatens to revolt at that thought ;)).

So going along with the social commentary from yesterday, what can we take from this? Maybe that when you look closely, even the things that might repulse you, you may find they are actually very beautiful. And if I like a bee eating pollen, I surely can’t dislike a fly who does the same thing.

I love the early morning light on this fly; the pretty brown highlights in the black, the detail in the wings and the textures and shape to his body. I like how the curve of his wings and body mimic the curve of the flower petals. And I know that without that fly, I wouldn’t show the image, as the flower without any good contrast was simply a good photo, and not something different.

So as much as I don’t like flies (a cultural, nonsensical idea I’m sure), when I don’t listen to that strain of thought and quiet my mind, I do find that little guy beautiful.

Shot with my 105mm macro lens at f/8.

Image Copyright Β© Katie Johnson. All Rights Reserved.


~ by KatiesCameraBlog on November 10, 2011.

82 Responses to “Simple Pretty Flower with a Simple Pretty Visitor :)”

  1. Wow…I never knew that flies had fuzzy butts! Great image…love the contrast in color and the shadow of his wings!

  2. You took an ugly bug and made it somewhat attractive and less disgusting. Great image! πŸ™‚

  3. Hey, Katie, maybe I can help. You said, that without the fly there wouldn’t be any image. The next opportunity you get like this, try reducing your EV by 1/3 or 2/3 and you may be surprised by the beautiful image you can come up with. Doing that will cut down on a lot of that glare of the yellow. I hope you don’t mind my constructive advice. But nice detail in the fly. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks, Bob for the advice. I’ve taken lots of photos of all yellow flowers, and yes cutting down on the EV helps, but I still don’t like them when there is no contrast in their color, or more detail in pedals or whatever πŸ™‚ I did take a photo of this yellow flower by itself, but to my eye it was boring the way i did it. Maybe if I had used an even smaller aperture, to get the background more in focus, and give more texture it would have worked, but I couldn’t do that without pumping up the ISO higher than I wanted to. Or maybe a different angle, etc. Or maybe taking it when the sun wasn’t where it was. I do try different things, so I appreciate the advice. πŸ™‚

  4. Hi Katie – Great photograph of the fly – but all I can say is that I hope flies find each other beautiful! Katie, I have left you a message in a few places asking if you are ok with me using your blog name and post in my ‘Rome, Italy (Part 2)’ post today? Please let me know so that I can publish it!

    Thanks and Take Care


  5. Oh, yes, now that you mention it, that danged bright sun can be a nuisance, so as you say, if it would have been an overcast or cloudy day I’m sure the flower blossom would have looked much better. I hope I am not getting my foot in my mouth again. πŸ™‚

    • Yep, Bob, the bright sun isn’t good with the yellow flowers! You’ve got the issue correct. πŸ™‚ An overcast/cloudy day would be great, but we rarely have them here, as I’m sure you’re aware of. πŸ™‚ Advice is always appreciated, no foot in mouth action. πŸ™‚

  6. Fantastic… just amazing the detail. And flowers with ‘visitors’ are always different and fun to look at

  7. Great statement about looking closely at things that repulse you. I don’t like flies either but you made me stop and look and appreciate this fellow. πŸ˜‰

    • Exactly, Cynthia, I agree, when I first looked at him I thought how pretty, and then my mind realized he was a fly, and that just killed it. I took this two months ago, and finally i saw it again, and thought, you know, he actually IS pretty. πŸ™‚ Still hard to say that about a fly though. πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for your comment and visiting my blog! πŸ™‚

  8. Oooh, it’s very interesting to see a fly up close like that! That look creepy! O.o

  9. Katie, wonderful photo! I love the detail in the wings! You’re right, too, sometimes what we categorize as “beautiful” is just the setting for the transformation of something categorized as “ugly” into something pretty. And that’s beautiful. Good work! Thanks for visiting my page yesterday! πŸ™‚

  10. Very nice macro-picture and lovely colors. πŸ™‚

  11. Super detail on the little critter and I think by exposing the flower the way you did put the center of attention on the fly. Good job!!

    Oh yeah…you could try using one of those 5 in 1 reflectors with the diffuser and that will aid in fun sun photos…but by the time you set up, the fly probably would have flown off to some other adventurous place. They really do help with super bright subjects that are in full sun.

  12. I like the contrast between the almost ‘gruesome’ nature of the fly, and the beautiful yellow flower in the background. Really nice work Katie.

  13. Great colour combo in this shot, lovely! (:

  14. I like his/her little antennae!

  15. This is lovely! It’s like sunshine on my screen! So needed these days, London is just miserable, drizzly and hazy all the time πŸ™‚

  16. I love the detail and the flies little shadow! Great photo..Katie!

  17. So well said (and captured)!
    I’ve been chasing a little flying creature around my desk for nearly an hour (and now I almost feel bad about it)! Almost.
    Very, very interesting!!!

  18. Another great pic, Katie!!

  19. SO BEAUTIFUL! The yellow is just stunning–even without the visitor it’d be beautiful πŸ™‚

  20. Very nice, thanks for sharing!

  21. I looked at this and thought, “What a pretty flower-and-bee picture”, and then I thought, “Oh, it’s a fly.” You’re right. It’s always a good idea to challenge our preconceived notions of what we’re supposed to like. πŸ™‚

  22. Love how sharp the fly Is with the slightly out of focus background. You see every fly detail!

  23. Best looking fly I have seen…of course that’s because you caught him. Beautiful picture.

  24. Great shot, Katie – wonderful detail.
    (I never knew flies had hairy butts either)

  25. Brilliant close-up of the fly, and really like the out-of-focus yellow flower as the background. Not that you had much choice of background, since that’s where the fly was hanging out at the time!

  26. Flies can be a pain, but they are still around for a reason I suppose. You did manage to capture a beauty…at least as far as flies go. What a lovely photo, Katie!

  27. Recently discovered the world in macro for myself…which means I had to admit flies (among other multi legged creatures with bad reputations) were pretty as well…love the photos!

  28. A lovely image but you are wrong when you say: “So as much as I don’t like flies (a cultural, nonsensical idea I’m sure),” – they really are disease carriers. The common house fly can spread dysentery etc.

    We don’t particularly like them for a reason.

    • Thanks so much for your intellectual comment (always love those), and I can see your point, but I would suggest also, that humans can be considered disease carriers (ask the Native Americans about that), so should I dislike every human for that reason? Thanks so much for your comment and for visiting my blog. πŸ™‚

  29. Even if it is a grody fly, you managed to capture an interesting image. The textures of his/her body, the contrast of the flower and the fly… all lovely.

  30. It’s funny. We think we know a thing (the fly, in this instance) — zoom in for a closer look and end up surprised by what we didn’t know and couldn’t see before. It’s a metaphor for life, maaaan…. πŸ™‚

  31. “Simple Pretty Flower with a Simple Pretty Visitor” through an amazing photograph… I loved it dear Katie, this is so beautiful and so lovely too. Thank you, with my love, nia

  32. Oh Katie, I have learned to appreciate these guys too. There are some flies, that when the light hits them, they are iridescent. Great shot!

  33. Anything can be beautiful if we take the time to look for it. There are great stories even in the midst of disaster, and there are beautiful images contained in the things we don’t like or care for. Thanks for proving this, to us and to yourself! Cheers!

  34. Simple and beautiful! Really nice ❀

  35. WOW! Nice bouquet! I thought that you hadn’t made any new posts. For some reason your posts doesn’t show up in my feed, which is sad since this is one of my favourite blogs. Happy weekend from Sweden!

    • Wow, sorry that my posts aren’t showing up for you! bad Internet! πŸ™‚ So glad you like my blog and thanks for your wonderful weekend wish! Hope the feed gets working better soon!

  36. Lovely shot Katie. I couldn’t remember if I’d commented on this post before or not….it’s an age thing I guess!

    However, I was never a great fan of creepy crawlies and ugly flies until I got really interested in Macro. It was only then that I started seeing these creatures as fellow inhabitants of our planet. And, although some may look a bit distasteful to us, I’m sure we are not that pretty to them, and yet we all have our part to play.
    You will no doubt recall that you commented on my Hover Fly on my blog not so long ago, I falsely accused it of biting me. I have since rectified that accusation and put the record straight. See my post Rogiet Country Park.
    Meanwhile I am looking forward to you extending your talents more into the field of Entomology Macro.
    If you are interested I have posted a few more pics on Flickr here:


    • Wow, you have lots of creepy crawly photos, Mark! My macro has got me to like more insects too, as they let me take photos of them, so I think they are just wonderful. I was amazed at how they’ll let me put my lens up close to them without flinching. Truly remarkable, and seeing them so close really changes the way I look at them. I remember your Hover Fly photo. Nice image there. πŸ™‚ And glad he didn’t hurt you. Take care!

  37. Woww… That’s a great photo..
    The fly is very detail… πŸ™‚

  38. I like this picture. It reminds me of mine, A summer couple, LOL. I have one friend who takes lots of pictures of insects and they all look so beautiful including the fly!

    Well done, Katie. It really is a nice shot!

    By the way I seem like always have a difficulty in snapping a yellow flower. Its result is always too bright so it cannot show the curve of the flower. Any suggestion? Will much appreciated and thanks in advance πŸ™‚

    • Glad you like this image, Inge! And glad your friend likes to take photos of the insects also. I think next summer I’ll try to take more of the photos.

      I agree on the yellow flowers, they are hard to shoot, Inge, especially when they are all yellow. I find shooting in shade helps some, or under exposing the photo too. Also, if you include more of the background (more depth of field, so it’s less blurred out), that can give the photo some more interest/contrast to the yellow flower. Also, in post processing the raw image (or you could do it to a jpg), I sometimes desaturate the photo, or adjust the color, which helps, and I may play around with contrast, etc. I totally agree, yellow flowers can be difficult to shoot, Inge! Or just ask some bug to land on them. πŸ™‚ Hope that helps a bit, Inge!

  39. Ow wow!!! that’s the little fella that once sat on my head πŸ˜‰
    Cool photo, aunt Katie

  40. This one is pretty close. Hats off to you click it, πŸ˜€

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