Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Frostweed gets a visitor

with 19 comments

Click for greater detail.

The last post provided a bud-opening view of Verbesina virginica, commonly called frostweed. Today’s picture of a slightly more advanced stage reveals a few of the fused stamen columns that are a hallmark of flowers in the sunflower family. In this species the dark-sided columns are tipped with pure white, though that’s not why the plant is known as frostweed.

But you may not be paying attention to the flowers or their name when you have such an appealing visitor. This tiny fly was only about a quarter of an inch long, and even with a 100mm macro lens I struggled to keep the main parts of it in focus. If you’d like to see more detail in the fly’s eye, which is curiously both convex and concave, the thumbnail below is an invitation. No RSVP is necessary, but the little fly and the larger I will welcome any comments that come our way.

© 2011 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 28, 2011 at 5:16 AM

19 Responses

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  1. A very furry little fellow. I like this composition, and your hard work at catching it was worth it!


    November 28, 2011 at 7:16 AM

    • Thanks. We don’t often think of flies as being so furry—at least I don’t. Persistence paid off this time, because although some of the pictures I took were out of focus, a few ended up sharp in the important places.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 28, 2011 at 10:12 AM

  2. I love the shallow depth of field and composition…great shot!


    November 28, 2011 at 7:31 AM

    • Thanks, Cindy. The light was dim and I didn’t want to use flash, so I ended up with the lens wide open at f/4, which is why I had so much trouble getting things to be in focus. The silver lining, though, of a shallow depth of field is the softness of unimportant things in the background.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 28, 2011 at 10:18 AM

  3. WOW – that little guy is awesome.


    November 28, 2011 at 8:28 AM

  4. Awesome photo. I love the composition.


    November 28, 2011 at 10:40 AM

    • Thank you. I’ll confess that the picture contained some more things at the edges, but I cropped in to produce an elongated composition that pleased me because it balances the tiny fly on one side against the stamens and rays on the other.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 28, 2011 at 10:48 AM

  5. Love the photo! Great detail, and perfect framing with nicely blurred background. Great capture!!


    November 28, 2011 at 4:23 PM

  6. It looks to me as if there is a drop of liquid (dew? nectar?) on the upper part of the fly’s eye. What do you think? It is a nifty photo!

    Nan Hampton

    November 28, 2011 at 10:29 PM

  7. Beautiful! The whole scene fits together so nicely!


    November 28, 2011 at 11:16 PM

  8. That’s a close shot!


    November 29, 2011 at 3:22 PM

    • Yes it is; so close, in fact, that I had trouble keeping things from moving around and staying sharp.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 29, 2011 at 4:04 PM

  9. Beautiful picture! The panoramic crop works really well at focusing our attention on both the insect and the plant.

    Journey Photographic

    December 2, 2011 at 5:17 AM

    • Thanks, fellow photographer, for appreciating the way the panoramic crop balances attention between the insect and the plant.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 2, 2011 at 7:02 AM

  10. […] Frostweed gets a visitor […]

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