A taste test updated

I am in California taking care of my brothers house and he has a ton of flowers. So I did some practicing on bees yesterday. I am spending more time waiting for a composition like this.

Specific Feedback Requested

I need to get my focus better, auto focus is nice but even the slightest movement can change the focus. Any thoughts?

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
Canon 90D Canon 180 Macro at f/11 1/1000 ISO 400. HH and used a diffused flash. Maybe need more DOF.

1 Like

Dean, It looks good as a thumbnail, but for some reason I can’t get it into the large view. It sounds nice having another yard to shoot photos in, especially if it has lots of flowers and bees. Have fun.

A really nice side view of the bee Dean. Composition looks good. Too bad we can’t see the large view. But I would say the dof looks all right.

Dean: Looks pretty good at this size but like the others I do wish it would enlarge. As to focus issues, with moving insects you pretty much have to rely on AF and hi speed shutter bursts. Makes for a lot of hard drive clutter and painstaking editing but manual focus really isn’t an option. >=))>

Dean - I really like this one as the background leaf and side viewing is helping to distinguish the bee from the flowers. The bee has some “business” to him by nature of his anatomy and striping, and the flowers he’s feasting on also have lots of variations in color and luminosity creating a busy look. I like this better than your more recent post as viewed from above where the bee is clearly noticeable, but on a busier background.

As for focus, I think you’re right…his proboscis and facial hairs are perhaps not as sharp as his leg closest to the lens.

This is a tough issue when dealing with such an active subject. I’m still in process, but @Bill looks to recommend using autofocus and frequent shots. That may not be an option depending on your recycle time for your flash unit(s). With flash (if you have enough flash power), you can get away with a higher DOF and remain with a quick shutter speed as necessary for such active subjects. So in this case, it would have been interesting to significant cecrease your aperture setting to f/22 while remaining at 1/1000 and see if he became more sharp.

I’m no flash macro expert, and have been intimidated to move in that direction. That’s why all my macro shots are far less mobile! I’d like to learn more and would be open to any information resources you or others know about.

Thanks Shirley, David, Bill, and Jim. I uploaded the photo again to see if the full version works. @Jim_McGovern , the flash helps setting the DOF higher and the shutter speed. I find that I still need a higher ISO like 800. The flash I have updates about once a second so 10 fps is not going to work. Having the lens open more wide does get the flash to recharged faster. Right now I am using a MagMod soft box small and round. I also put a diffuser at the edge of the lens. I should take a photo of it. That said I find using no flash a higher ISO and high speed shooting, I capture more of a chance to pick up something like a bees tonged. At ISO 2000 or so I need to remove the noise pattern from high iso. I have Nosieware which works well but more complex to use. I just picked up Topaz Denoise AI which is easier and works very well. I use Photoshop smart filter on any plugin so I have a mask to undo any damage a plugin might do where I did not want it effected.

I have learned watching my subject, bees in this case, helps a lot because I have a pretty good idea how a bee moves around the flower so I aim ahead of her and sometimes she moves into my FOV, not always.


Really nice closeup, Dean! Looks like she’s getting more than just a taste test with all that pollen on her! :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: