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Hands up!

Hands up!
Photo Information
Copyright: Michal Grabowski (cedryk) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 50 N: 1722] (5270)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-03-28
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon 350D, Sigma 70mm F2.8 EX DG Macro, @ ISO 400
Exposure: f/11, 1/200 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Robberfly, Robber flies (Diptera: Asilidae) of Europe, Nature's cutest, Dipterans (except Hover flies) of Europe-2 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-03-29 6:13
Viewed: 5508
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 84
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Dear Friends,
Please meet a robber-fly:

Erax barbatus
Scopoli, 1763
Family: Asilidae - robber flies

This species is quite mysterious and I couldn't find too much information about it. All I know is that it occurs in most of Europe and usually appears early in the spring, dissapearing before it gets too warm.

A very characteristic feature of this robber fly is its light beard, well visible on this picture. In Latin barbatus means "bearded".

To me it looks like a bearded pirate or a corsair - which in fact corresponds well with its life-style. All asiliids are agressive and voracious predators, killing other insects including also other fly species.

Based on the slightly red colour of its beard we colud also name it Barbarossa (Readbeard) to commemorate the famous Ottoman XV/XVIth century corsairs on the Mediterranean Sea, Baba Aruj Barbarossa and his younger brother Barbarossa Hayreddin Pasha.
I guess both also quite alike robber-flies in lifestyle :-)

But this robber has his hands up...
What could that mean!?

Is he giving up looking at my camera spotted at him?

Or maybe he is trying to spell a cast on me in some kind of robber-fly language?

But most probably he is just trying to say "Oh, get lost you annoying giant, and don't blind me with your flash!!!"

If you would like to learn something about robber flies please see the Asilidae Homepage.

PS. The fly was identified by my friend Grzegorz Socha, an entomologist doing a PhD on asiliids in my department. Thanks, Grzes!

cicindela, SelenE, Alex99, JORAPAVI, red45, fartash, simon182, Argus, mikou, Maite, sunkirana, timonejoon, jmp, jeanpaul, delic, horia, peter_stoeckl, sily, extramundi, hester, Hil has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To horia: Zoologists :-)cedryk 2 03-30 16:45
To ramthakur: how close !?cedryk 1 03-30 15:48
To red45: spotkanie lowika :-)cedryk 2 03-30 05:55
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Critiques [Translate]

bonjour michal
les details dans les yeux sont extra,je n'en reviens pas,j'aime aussi beaucoup la pose de cette mouche.j'ai aussi le même genre d'attitude dans ma galerie mais de profil.

you'll get a lot of good critiques with this fabulous shot. Colors, details, POV and presentation are great...
Congratulations and best reagrds,

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2007-03-29 6:37]

Hi Michal,
The pose, colors and lighting is very good. I liked the details on the eyes. Very well done and TFS

  • Great 
  • honza Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 533 W: 0 N: 720] (4197)
  • [2007-03-29 6:42]

Nice picture of the fly. Perfect details and colors. I like the pose very much :-)

  • Great 
  • batu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1079 W: 293 N: 4497] (16383)
  • [2007-03-29 6:42]

Hello Michal,
an admirable and detail-rich fly portrait with exact focus and high sharpness. Just the right point of view to show the face and also the outlines of the fly against the background.
Best wishes, Peter

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2007-03-29 6:43]

Hi Michal.
What a nice macro shot. I like the POV and composition of the picture, razor sharpness of the fly image, excellent lighting and rich colours so much. Your exposure parameters are perfect too. My compliments and TFS.

Swietne zdjecie - nic dodac, nic ujac :)

  • Great 
  • odin Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 177 W: 1 N: 209] (1169)
  • [2007-03-29 7:20]

Nice shot, very good sharpness, i like the pose,Sébastien

Hola Michal,
Expectacular macro de gran nitidez, casi se pueden contar los pelos de la barba. Saludos

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2007-03-29 8:13]
  • [+]

Hands up albo Draw! - byl kiedys nawet western pod takim tytulem :-) Wysmienita poza i jakosc! Patrze na date zrobienia tego i Radkowego - kurcze, gdzie wy zescie je spotkali???

  • Great 
  • Bufo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 404 W: 69 N: 951] (4247)
  • [2007-03-29 8:31]

Hi Michal,
I just saw the picture of Radomir which I liked. Also this one is really fine. The pov is unusual but great.
Well done, Jacob

Hello Michal
Another wonderful closeup,
Perfect compo and sharpness,
Excellent lighting and BG,


Hey Michal,

Amazing, what a truly original photo! Really top class.

Technical Quality:
This is so sharp that I can make even very fine detail on the head and eye, I imagine the full size shot is mind blowing! This detail has come about from the use of a quite narrow aperture, extending the depth of field, but still in macro terms we are left with the rear of the fly and background getting steadily more blurred. The image is clean with no compression issues or marks. Contrast is excellent with colours standing out well against each other, this leads to a very punchy looking shot. Lighting has been nailed and really accentuates the details. No problem with flash reflections other than a minor amount on the rear leg. Finally, timing, it is perfect! Him waving at us is so funny and shutter is fast enough to halt any movement here.

Your use of the tripod and manoeuvring into this low point of view is to be congratulated, it can't have been easy but has given us an awesome face-to-face shot. The fly is central and demands all our attention - this is highly effective and does not need to be placed on any rule of thirds line! It is simple, yet complete without distracting elements.

Emotional Appeal:
Just great! I'd never have thought a fly waving/dancing/posing would even be possible let alone captured on film. This has got to be one of the most dynamic shots on here, I mean this thing is just screaming out for attention! This is definitely a fresh look at fly macros and will be hard to compete against in terms of all the above. Added to this is the fact this isn't just any fly, it's a Robber Fly and hence has even more appeal for the mysteriousness that you mention in your engaging note.

Superb shot overall, a new favourite as well. Congratulations Michal!


  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-03-29 10:12]

Hello Michal,
Great macro with some drama. This is super sharp and well composed.
My guess is that this Robber Fly raised his front feet prepared to grapple with an assailant, which he might have interpreted you to be. As you know, the front legs are normally used to grip its prey.
TFs and best wishes, Ivan

  • Great 
  • mikou Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 869 W: 68 N: 1479] (6093)
  • [2007-03-29 10:23]

Hi Michal.
Great very close-up and funny pose.I like composition with very impressive point of view and perfect sharp details.Well done,TFS.
Best greetings Milos.

  • Great 
  • Maite Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 998 W: 65 N: 1270] (5199)
  • [2007-03-29 11:52]

Hello Michal
A wonderful macro and fantastic capture! I'm impressed by the sharp details and the good timing of your shot.
Congratulations and TFS.

  • Great 
  • GLEM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 540 W: 87 N: 750] (10)
  • [2007-03-29 12:26]

bonjour Michal,
ça c'est un vrai hommage à l'image de notre ami Laurent, en une semaine deux arrestations :)
Très bonne netteté et détails précis.


Hi Michal, Nice interesting POV. Well composed, with nice details. The moment I saw this, it reminded me of a shot posted a few days back. Take a look at this and its caption: http://www.treknature.com/gallery/Europe/France/photo101907.htm

Enjoy, Warm regards, Kiran.

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2007-03-29 13:08]

Hi Michal,
Wonderful macro. Very neat and sharp. Look at those eyes !! Excellent POV and perfect lighting. The Blurry BG makes it all look so pleasing to the eyes. Very nicely composed and framed. Kudos.

Hi Michal,
I'm not seasoned in making macro images; I like this image a lot though. Good macro.

  • Great 
  • Zeno Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 483 W: 0 N: 1345] (10867)
  • [2007-03-29 14:09]

Hi Michal,

Very expressive photo. Great satured colors and incredible sharpness.


Hi Michal
Woow, I love that. it's funny. like really somebody said hand up! perfect shot. amazing details and incredibly funy pose.congrats.


  • Great 
  • puciu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 469 W: 0 N: 16] (2631)
  • [2007-03-29 14:56]

Super makro fotka. Piêknie uchwyci³e¶, idealna ostro¶æ. Rewelacja.

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2007-03-29 16:33]

Hi Michal,
The most in pov! Absolutely great close-up with perfect details and a great moster appearance!
TFS, José M.

  • Great 
  • methos Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 213 W: 51 N: 281] (1189)
  • [2007-03-29 17:50]

Hi Michal,
WOW. This pose is fantastic. The details are stunning and the colors amazing.
Good timing and great use of DOF.

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2007-03-30 2:36]

Great macro, Michal.
Incredible details with excellent focus.
Well saturated colors.
Love the pose and your funny title.
TFS. : )

Hi Michal
C'est une très belle macro Michal, les différentes teintes de gris trouvé sur le morceaux de rocher sont impecable. Les details de l'insecte sont parfait ainsi que la netteté ,les yeux sont facinants.
Merci et au revoir...JP

Hi Michal, wonderful macro with great details, BRAVO! very well done, ciao Silvio

funny macro, well done, great capture, excellent sharpness !

  • Great 
  • delic Gold Star Critiquer [C: 440 W: 6 N: 310] (898)
  • [2007-03-30 14:34]

Hello Michal,
Interesting pose for sure. Never seen one quite like this. Excellent sharpness brings out so much detail, esp. the eyes. Very well done. Regards,

A stunning close-up macro of a Robberfly's face, Michal.
How close to the subject did you get with your Sigma 70mm?
The image has "cast a spell" on me, by all means :-)!
Fantastic macro work for which you deserve to be congratulated, my friend.

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2007-03-30 16:08]
  • [+]

Hi Michal

Another terrific macro shot from you, my friend!
The pose of this robber-fly is really great and funny at the same time :)
Your POV here is exceptional and, together with the exact flash management and a good DOF choice, it produced and excellent quality image in terms of focus, details and colors.
Great job!

I see there is a big crew there at your university...full of great zoologist! Got any room for one more? :)))))

Cheers and TFS

Hello Michal,
great clarity and precision, fabulous light, excellent macro. And a very funny pose, indeed.
Thank you! With best regards,

  • Great 
  • sily Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 239 W: 6 N: 395] (1934)
  • [2007-03-30 18:05]

HI Michal!
I just love this one, Perfect! I'm really spechless, amazing moment and details!So funny!

  • Great 
  • OzBY Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 183 W: 2 N: 351] (1355)
  • [2007-04-01 3:12]

Hi Michal,
Great close up picture of this fly.
Great posotion, color and lighting.


You got a funky robberfly ;)
The pose in really cool, it takes your attetion very much, some kind of hypnotizes the viewer. It looks like a magitian putting an spell on us :)
Lovely composition and good use of available DOF.
Thanks and regards.

  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2007-04-03 12:50]

Great title! very amusing and perfectly matches the shot :)

Excellent POV and pin sharp details. Nice DOF and great lighting. Super shot



What a pose! This pic is killing me.
Very shaarp and dedailed too.

  • Great 
  • Hil Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 696 W: 13 N: 1407] (5035)
  • [2007-04-04 15:46]

Hi Michal

What a great macro shot, I love the pose with the legs in the air and eye contact is great too, the detail is excellent with all the hairs and nice natural colours too.

TFS Hilary :o)

superbe macro ... j'ai également cet objectif je trouve excellent ... A+

  • Great 
  • wuta Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 855 W: 2 N: 617] (2142)
  • [2007-05-16 13:50]

Hello Michel , Fantastic shot from this fly , great pose colours details pov bg ,and you have lenzes in his eyes , very good tfs ,Greetings Teunie .

the color is nice and the sharpness is where it needs to be its a very nice picture

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