Hello again Pegelli;
Yes, from a technique perspective, the fly shot was very good. From a "subject" perspective, its potential for positive impact is limited. This is nobody's fault, it's just the way it is. As an extreme example of what I mean, recognizing my own limitations as a photographer, I could commission one of the great masters to come take a photo for me. They might utilize the best photographic equipment and technique, but if my chosen subject is a macrophoto of a hemorrhoid
... no one is going to derive pleasure looking at it ... depite the finest techniques in focus, DR, lighting, color rendition, etc.
At the end of the day, no one would hang a 40" x 30" print of a hemorrhoid on their wall, not because the best tools and talent weren't featured to their best, but simply because I have chosen the wrong subject to photograph
One of the things I am learning about, concerning the whole point of photography in general (and macrophotography in particular), as I read and watch, is that the best photos either seem to capture something beautiful, dramatic, or they make the common uncommon
. For instance, some flies really do have beautiful coloration, as the specimen you photographed did. So while not as drastic an example as the hemorrhoid (LOL), I guess my point was (in the end) common flies are generally considered an annoyance to most people, and almost no one has developed an appreciation
for them. Therefore, regardless of any excellent technique, it is going to be hard for most people to to find a common fly pleasant to look at for long. However, not everyone knows what a fly looks like at 5x magnification! Therefore, this type of unusual photo can be dramatic, because it makes a common bottle fly look like a monster from another world. Therefore a 5:1 macro shot would probably be the most fascinating way to photograph a fly, because it makes the common uncommon
. (However, I don't think even this would help a hemorrhoid )
Butterflies and flowers, on the other hand, while commonplace also, are the exact opposite of "pests" ... they are pleasures
for one and all to look at and behold. Rather than trying to get rid of them (as with flies), millions of people try to cultivate and attract these subjects. Therefore, a wonderful photograph of either flowers or butterflies makes people stop and admire them automatically, by default. I think this is why any clear shot of a butterfly or flower is appreciated by one and all, even if the technique isn't perfect. People simply enjoy the beauty of these creatures.
Another thing I have been reading, and noticing in many people's work and comments, is the subject of "capturing light." One person even broke down the meaning of "photography" on her website as "photo=light" and "graphy=style/paint." I think that is what made your dahlia photo was so compelling (for me at least). It was a wonderful subject; the colors were very subtle and expansive in gradation; the focus was excellent; and the entire background was neutralized so that only the beauty of the flower remained. It just stood out, in perfect focus, to be appreciated by itself, and it was well-illuminated so that it could be appreciated in-and-of-itself.
Anyway, with the topic of "subject vs. technique" clarified (at least the way I see it), I hope you enjoy my subects below ... even if my technique isn't quite there yet 1/1000, f/5.0, ISO 400, No Flash 1/80, f/6.3, ISO 100, Built-In Flash 1/200, f/5.0, ISO 100, No Flash 1/250, f/8.0, ISO 400, Built-In Flash
PS: The book I am reading is, The Magic of Digital Nature Photography
, by Rob Sheppard. It is not indepth so much as it gives a broad overview of nature photography in general, the basic tools and techniques for achieving various ends, and of course some really wonderful photographs to make you really want to get out there and start shooting!