Bee Hungry

Critique Style Requested: Standard

The photographer is looking for generalized feedback about the aesthetic and technical qualities of their image.


Caught this guy hitting up what flowers are left in the yard. I was trying to get a shot of both the Bee and Flower.

Technical Details

Canon 5DSR, 100MM Macro, ISO 3200,

John, that must be nice that you still have flowers and bees in your yard. I’m so looking forward to them returning in the spring. On my monitor it feels like the blacks are too dark on the bee. The square crop looks good, but I am wondering if you have more of the flower at the top, to add some of it an crop more at the bottom, and make this more of a vertical, since with just the one in focus flower feels more of a vertical shot. I believe this is two Macro shots you have submitted so far today, and it is recommended only one shot per category each day.

In macro photography, you have to choose the plane of focus carefully because of the limited depth of field. For a subject like this, use f11 to f20 maximize DOF. The head of the bumblebee is not in focus and that needs to be in sharp focus. Based on the harsh lighting, some fill flash will help in this situation. Go with a vertical comp as Shirley suggests with more room on the top portion of the photo. …Jim

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Shirley, the flowers and bees are gone in my yard too. This was taken a few months back. A vertical crop would look better and I see the bee is dark. Thanks . I learn more with every shot. Sorry, I was unaware of the submission rule.

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No problem, John. If you have the Sidebar showing on the left of your screen there is a “Guidelines and FAQ” under Resources.

Jim that’s some great advice. Thanks. Learned a lot. I’ll try to remember this in the spring when everything comes back alive.

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John: Not sure of your capture technique but looking at your ISO and the light you should have had plenty of SS and DOF to work with. If you are hand holding and relying on AF you can get a lot of misses simply due to the camera movement when you press the shutter. I set my shutter to fire continuously and blast off a burst of several shots. There will be a bunch of rejects but also a few that will be spot on. I’m not familiar with Canon AF performance but I know my 100mm macro is sharp and fast and pretty easy to handle. Keep after it. The delete button is our friend :wink:. >=))>

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Excellent advice above. Shaded subjects (and BGs) are mandatory for closeups like this. Sunlight looks so good to our eyes but is way too harsh for a camera. A tripod or monopod will give you the stability you need for low light. Use your continuous AF capability and shoot in burst mode, as Bill said.

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Thanks you two. I’m going to try using the burst mode. I don’t use the tripod much when I’m chasing flying critters around the garden.

Hi John, I can also say that I agree with @Diane_Miller 's comment about shade - or diffused light of soft clouds - for most macro images. The lower contrast of this type of light allows for much more detail in the image. A tripod is a great idea for many macro scenes, and often necessary for lower light, but with moving subjects, such as a bee, it’s often a session in frustration - you just get everything set and the bee sets off, or lands on the next flower up, or…! Thus, the comment about burst mode or continuous frame “HI” will usually get the job done. ISO might jump higher but there is good noise reduction software in LR and Topaz that will solve that! Keep at it, and when spring comes you’ll have more opportunities to share!