|Selecting a background for your fly photos might seem a trivial task, but trust me: it is not!|
The background can consist of everything from the same uniform colored surface to all kinds of materials in strange colors.
Next to this text you see a series of fly pictures - the same fly photographed on a selection of backgrounds in varying materials and colors. You can fiddle with them by clicking on one. That will take you to a page where you can experiment and compare the effects of changing the background color and material.
As you can see the impression of the fly varies greatly with the background. I have tried to make the pictures as identical as possible, and all pictures are exposed manually at the same shutter speed and aperture as well as the light setting has been exactly the same in all pictures.
I have tried to vary color as well as texture and degree of reflection - some materials are dull and some are shiny. Some are also translucent or perforated. These have all been set up in front of a uniform blue background.
Careful with colors
Personally I like the textured bacgrounds, but as it will clearly show here, such a material has to be chosen with care. The basket weave and furnace neck might offer interesting backgrounds, but the fly doesn't really show well on either. The same goes for feathers or other materials, which are too close to the fly colors. Pink and blue necks to match the fly colors may seem harmonic and suitable on paper, but in real life they make parts of the fly invisible.
What's the best background?
Depending on your purpose of photographing a fly you do have some options. My favorite fly pictures are taken by the water and not in a studio, but if the target is to document the shape and color of a fly, a neutral grey, blue, green or white background is probably best. Light textures like wood or more erratic color blends can do too. And of course black. Most things look great on black, but it can be a difficult color to work with and it requires a lot of light.
Fiddle with different materials
Fiddle with different colors