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Thread: Just Hatched (but maybe not what you think)

  1. #1

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    Just Hatched (but maybe not what you think)

    When the word "hatch" is used, most of us probably think "bird". But in this case it's a March Brown mayfly that has just hatched from the water-dwelling nymphal form seconds before, and is resting on the water surface while its wings harden, before taking to the air.

    C&C welcome.


    Just Hatched (but maybe not what you think)

    (click image for better view)

  2. #2
    Cantab's Avatar
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    Re: Just Hatched (but maybe not what you think)

    A wonderful photo. What magnification is it at? One can see the dents in the water caused by the surface tension making the water appear elastic. Did the mayfly stay still for a prolonged period of time or was it a question of take a picture fast?

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Just Hatched (but maybe not what you think)

    Excellent shot Arlen, looks to be lit from below, perhaps taken in a lab/tank? Not that that detracts from it being a good shot.

    I'm sure someone will say they'd like to see the tips of the wings and the tail - and they'd be right, but all the 'interesting bits' (to me) are here; sharply focused and well lit.

    Cheers,

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    Re: Just Hatched (but maybe not what you think)

    Thanks for your comments, Bruce and Dave. This shot was the culmination of several years of trying to capture just this moment of emergence. It was part of an intensive study and photographic documentation of aquatic insects that are important to fly fishers. This brief time when the adult has emerged from the nymph, but has not yet left the water surface, is when a "dry fly" imitation is most likely to be taken by trout feeding on the surface. I have also documented all the stages of the process in which the adult breaks open the nymphal "shuck" (exoskeleton) and extracts itself, just under and on the water surface.

    Bruce, the magnification is a little greater than 1:1, achieved with a Canon 100mm macro lens plus extension tube. These mayflies (called "duns" by fly fishers) typically sit on the water surface from a few seconds to a few minutes. This one had been on the surface for about a minute when I took this shot. It did require relatively quick work. And many tries with many individuals over an extended time, with lots of missed shots, or ones not in good focus.

    Dave, the lighting is from above, but there are background reflections on the water, as well as a piece of beaver-chewed wood under the water which partially shows through, giving rise to the tan color at the bottom. I do have other shots that capture the entire bug, but this one was special because of the lighting and the detail captured in the "face". I think of it as a 3/4 portrait.

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    jeeperman's Avatar
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    Re: Just Hatched (but maybe not what you think)

    Very nice shot Arlen. There is only one hatch that I have had as much fun with....the Salmon fly on the Madison or the Beaverhead in Montana. This image would go quite well on my wall amongst the gear. Well done.

  6. #6

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    Re: Just Hatched (but maybe not what you think)

    Thank you, Paul. I agree that the salmonfly hatch is special, particularly on rivers like the Madison and Deschutes where there are so many of them. Here in western Oregon, the March Brown hatch is much anticipated, too, as it is the first major one to occur in the spring, after a winter of waiting. And in my (possibly biased) view, besides being among the most ancient, mayflies are among the most elegant of the insects. That's a major reason that I chose this image for the cover of my book. Though it had to be cropped to fit, and the publisher decided the bug needed to be facing right instead of left.

    Just Hatched (but maybe not what you think)

    This is the first time that I've posted this image on a general photograpy forum. I'm wondering whether images in this genre (or other areas of macro photography, for that matter) have much interest to a wider audience.

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    Re: Just Hatched (but maybe not what you think)

    Quote Originally Posted by Arlen View Post
    This is the first time that I've posted this image on a general photograpy forum. I'm wondering whether images in this genre (or other areas of macro photography, for that matter) have much interest to a wider audience.
    Wonderful image and goes well on the cover - congrats on the compilation of a book. I hope it sells well.

    As for your question - OH YES please please do.

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    jeeperman's Avatar
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    Re: Just Hatched (but maybe not what you think)

    Congrats on the book Arlen, looks like one I would give a read. You are right about the Salmon fly....special yes....but....elegant.....NO. As for others intrest......good photography is at least that I am sure many would love to see more.

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