Bee Experiment

I was at the desert museum yesterday working with DOF and my bees. Focus on the bee head and she came out pretty well here. I am spending more time with the composition and the subject. She actually landing on the other side of the leaf, but I knew she would come around. It is a waiting game sometimes. I get in a nice position usually leaning or sitting on something and just sit there for an hour or two. It makes a peaceful day, and it is neat watching these bees do their work.

Type of Critique Requested

  • Aesthetic: Feedback on the overall visual appeal of the image, including its color, lighting, cropping, and composition.

Specific Feedback and Self-Critique

Not sure if wide open works with this subject. I know the bee is small, but DOF is really tight here. I was not sure if a 1:1 or a 4:5 crop works best here. It would add more of the flower below.

Technical Details

R7 RF 100-400 w/1.4x extender. 560mm f/11 (wide open) iso 2000 1/640 HH.

1 Like

Sounds like a really wonderful way to spend your time, Dean. Communing with bees. Alas, it was 10 below this morning (10 degrees warmer than yesterday morning) and so no bees for me. I like your wait and capture strategy. I’ve done similar things with dragonflies. It shows not only the insect, but also optimizes composition and framing. With that in mind, I think if you had a shot of the flower(s) in focus and blended it with one of the bee on the flower, that would improve this quite a bit. As it is, it’s a bit incongruous to have the flowers so blurry (and with some haloing) and the bee relatively sharp. Just an idea and a way to fill some of that waiting time. That might require a tripod though.

In terms of crop, I wouldn’t add more flower, but might crop a bit tighter to eliminate the bright little triangle on the very bottom edge, but maybe include a little more on the left or completely cut into the leaf there. Colors look really nice - soft and natural. Agree that a smaller aperture would allow more of her body and legs to be in focus. I really like her positioning and that dusting of pollen on her front legs. They are such little wonders of nature.

Dean: I like the perch and comp and while I agree with Kris regarding the softness of the flowers I’m OK with that since the bee is sharp in all the right places. Good things do indeed happen to those who wait. Nicely done. >=))>

Dean, I really am enjoying this shot. The curve of the two stems of flowers seems to frame the bee. I am so glad you have the opportunity to get out and shoot photos of bees. You are right, waiting is the way to go, but many times I find myself not being patient enough. Nicely done.

Thank you for the feedback, @Kris_Smith , @Bill_Fach , and @Shirley_Freeman. I wondered about a tighter crop from the lower left corner. Wide open may not work with these subjects more so if the flower is soft. As Bill said the bee being sharp helps but stopping down 2/3 of a stop might help. Interesting idea Kris will a tripod. A composite with the flowers focused and the bee focused as a second shot is an ideal
What I do when there are a lot of bees in a bush with lovely flowers is set the tripod on the flower and just wait for the bee to come. Believe or not this takes a lot of time waiting for the bee to pose exactly how I want her. It ends up being worth it.


This is totally “wow!” Dean. Love how the curve of the flower brings us right to the bee. I also like the soft feel of the background, IMHO, the bee has enough detail. As for the crop, there is enough surrounding the bee to give it a sense of place. Am truly enjoying your series of bee photos, keep them coming. Very inspiring for me.