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Magic Eyes

Magic Eyes
Photo Information
Copyright: Bente Feldballe (milloup) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 482 W: 40 N: 619] (1716)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2004-07-09
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon EOS 300D, Tamron 28-300XR, Hama Close-up +2
Exposure: f/13.0, 1/200 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Sexy nature, Art of Procreation, Dipterans (except Hover flies) of Europe-2 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2005-01-25 17:51
Viewed: 7149
Points: 36
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Thistle Stem Gall Fly, Urophora cardui. I've been fascinated with these little flies (about 8 mm long) ever since I saw the first one. They have such beautifully coloured eyes, neon colours changing with the light and showing almost all the colours of the rainbow, red, yellow, green and blue.
Back in July last year I came across this couple sitting quietly on a thistle minding their own business - the production of the next generation. They were very cooperative and stayed in position for a long time, allowing me plenty of time for photos. The really interesting bit came, however, when they decided the mating was over. The male started moving forward to pull away from the female's ovipositor, but he had certain problems (don't know if they stick together like dogs during the mating..). He tried for a while, and suddenly he did manage to break free. Once free, he was almost catapulted forward and landed in a very awkward position ;-))
After the exertion the male climbed onto another leaf to take a rest, while the female stayed put for a while "bringing her hair in order" - at least that was what it looked like. Then she, too, climbed onto another leaf and started laying her eggs. Unfortunately, the actual laying of eggs took place near the base of the leaves, so I couldn't get a decent angle on this. The eggs were probably too small to show in the photo, anyway..
A photo of the breaking up was posted to TE way back ;-))
I found this bit of information on this particular type of fly:
The Thistle Stem Gall Fly, Urophora cardui, attacks the primary and lateral stems of thistle. Adults will lay their eggs on the thistle plant in the early summer when bolting plants are 12 inches tall or more. The developing larvae stimulate the plant to form a hard, woody, stem gall. Gall formation directs nutrients away from the normal metabolic and reproductive functions of this aggressive weed. Abnormally developed flower heads frequently occur above the gall, often reducing seed production. Multiple "cardui" galls are possible on a single thistle plant.
For that reason these flies are used to combat unwanted thistles, so they must be what Robert calls "good guys" ;-)
Treatment: Crop, contrast +10, brightness +5, saturation +10, USM and resize.

sergegagne, Robbrown, Luc, scottevers7, rlortie, carper, gerhardt, marhowie, mogens-j, annagrace, PDP has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To willie: Paparazzi ;-))milloup 1 01-26 18:14
To sergegagne: Natural lightmilloup 1 01-26 09:04
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Critiques [Translate]

Bente, I like your photo very much. Those flies were certainly cooperative, as you said. It seems that you used a flash other than the built-in flash of the 300D, on the right side. If yes, what flash was it? Or maybye I'm wrong and it was natural light? About your Hama Close-up +2, is it simply a close-up ring? I do have close-up rings, but I don't use them much. In any case, you succeded very well. And your note is very instructive and interesting. TFS.

I rember you posting the thistle gall to TE and have now seen them in this country, but have never seen the flies let alone ones mating, good capture and superb notes TFS

  • Great 
  • Luc Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1835 W: 301 N: 4287] (14767)
  • [2005-01-25 21:05]

"bringing her hair in order" ;-) Great analogy.
The one I posted yesterday has the same size.
A great picture, Bente with a crunchy note.
There are posts which we look forward. Yours are there.
Thanks a lot.

Very nice capture of these flies. Very good color and sharp detail. The good DOF and clean backround make this a very nice photo.

Reading your notes and comments is always a great time for me Bente. And looking at this picture is another one. Very good work.

Very good job here Bente,
And indeed that details, that green eyes are fantastic, very good macro, good pof and great dof and a great note, very good job.

  • Great 
  • Sneza Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Silver Note Writer [C: 94 W: 27 N: 16] (672)
  • [2005-01-26 2:47]

Good photo.
I like POV and composition.
Good colors and details.
Nice shot and note.

"Hold on dear, the sidecar is in for repairs!" :)

I just love these "bikers". Bente, this is an exceptional post. both in it's rarity and quality. Great work in sharing with us this moment in such a great capture. I am sure you are very happy with this. Fantastic!

Interesting shot, good colours but focus a bit soft, maybe because of the close-up filter.

Great macro Bente! Very good details, especially in those spectacular green eyes. Like the composition and this nuetral BG isolating your subjects so well..Enjoyed the detailed account of the "action". Very well done!!

Now Bente, isn't it bad enough having every last hair on your body exposed in the incredible macros that get posted on TN, but to actually show this (LOL) Don't take me seriously. It's an amazing shot worthy of great acclaim. Well done.

Oh yes, I remember those little beauties Bente and you are right they do have wonderful coloured eyes. Excellent dof and handling of the light showing plenty of details and all the colours in the eyes.

I had a very good time reading you note, Bente. I love to imagine whats going on when I look at insects, and you explained great. You chose a very clear and descriptive picture to illustrate the note. Good work.

  • Great 
  • livios Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2150 W: 319 N: 4263] (16942)
  • [2005-01-26 20:10]

Bente, a sunny day, a "hot" situation. Excellent macro into a nice composition.

  • Great 
  • Callie Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1101 W: 95 N: 2610] (7555)
  • [2005-01-27 14:14]

Driving right out of an SF horror movie, and such beautiful catching eyes, Very nicely presented, Bente. I listened to you, and the creeps and creepies can wait till next week. Cant let the regulars on TN rhink I have a big free in my head.

An amazing capture and a hilarious note. Incredibly good macro with perfect DOF. Thanks for sharing!


Absolutely amazing macro image. The sharpness and the clarity are 1st class.
Well Done!!!

  • Great 
  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2005-07-20 18:04]

Hello Bente, lovely shot. They have great eyes! Very good shot and well done as I know how small these guys are. Great details and colours. Well done.

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