Sunday, August 2, 2015

Bee-Havior Part 3

Honeybee in BasiI I
Sometimes the weather, and the critters, just don’t want to cooperate. Lately it’s been hot and humid –temps at 25C (77F) and over 80% humidity. With one rare exception everything has been hyperactive even before the sun comes up. So I’ve been experimenting with mixed light sources and injecting a few flowers with some 2:1 sugar syrup. They sweet stuff gives insects a reason to let me get close, but I still have to work fast.

Bees have a tendency to pull away from me, and I used that behavior to my advantage for this next shot. A head on shot looking down into the flower got stuck in my head after one session of shooting feeding bees. But I knew that the limited depth of field, even at F16, was going to be problematic. But positioning myself over the top of this bumblebee caused it to pull away from the flower, allowing me to place the thin flat area of acceptable focus over the proboscis all the way to its eyes and head.

Bumblebee in Lavender I

On mixing natural light and flash: Changing the sensitivity of your sensor (the ISO) or the amount of light coming into the lens (the Fstop) will effect both the natural light and the flash in a scene. But as long as you stay below the maximum flash sync speed for your camera the shutter will only impact the natural light. So the “trick” that I’m using with images like this next one is to lower the shutter speed so I can use natural light to expose the background, and since I’m deliberately shading the subject the flash can still freeze what little motion is left to give me sharp details in the subject. I don’t care about motion causing the background to blur since it will be out of focus anyway.

Wool Carder Bee in Basil I

This is the last post in this series. I have some more behavioral info, and well as a lot to say about composition. But I’m going to save it for my next book (hopefully get it out this fall). Until next time happy shooting :)

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