Friday, June 28, 2013

Look for Something Interesting

Originally uploaded by Dalantech.
In May of this year I moved into a villa, and we now have a small back yard that we’ve been filling with flowers. My wife bought a vine with large white flowers and a small species of solitary bee took up residence in it. Since this is our first year here I thought about leaving them alone, but I just couldn’t resist the temptation to take one flower apart and take a few photos. It’s been a long time since I’ve taken any macro photos and I needed the practice.

The bee was really small, only about a millimeter wide and a few millimeters long, and due to the way that it has anchored itself to the flower’s stamen my first attempt at framing the critter were really poor. Looking at the images that I had taken, and at the bee’s perch, I decided to look for a different angle. If I couldn’t find something more interesting I’d have to call the entire session practice and bin all of the photos that I took. After completely rearranging my table top studio I managed to get the scene I was looking for and it’s was then that I noticed something really amazing…

The bee had anchored itself to the flower’s stamen with its proboscis!

I’ve never seen that behavior before; normally a bee will clamp onto a plant stem with their mandibles when they sleep. But this one was using its tongue :)

I shot a short video of the studio that I set up so you can see how I took the shoot. Pretty simple really, but the clamps allow me to use both hands to steady the camera.