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Kleptography -- All images and site content are Copyright 2001-2004 by Don Ellis. All rights reserved. Images may not be used without written permission.

Snake Flies

Often the photo you go for is not the photo you get. I wandered down to the banana tree this evening wondering what new thing I could frame in the grove when I saw a five-foot snake lying in the bushes...possibly, stupidly, killed by a neighbor.
     It hadn't been dead that long but what was amazing was the huge swarm of flies that were already making a meal of him and the incredible number of maggots that were already going to work on the underbelly.
      There is often a terrible beauty in the cycle of life, death and redistribution for many of the world's animals. Flies may not have the soaring grace of vultures, but they serve the same ends... and here they look like emeralds and rubies while they're doing it.

On a technical note, this was taken with the G2 and a 550EX external flash with an off-camera cord. Macro lenses totaling +15 diopters were used. This is one of 145 shots -- the challenge being to capture a layer of flies, rather than a stack, because with the shallow depth of field you need them all on one plane for them to be in focus.