Hard at Work

It is windy here today, but nice and warm, so I noticed that the bees were out on some bushes with flowers. I grabbed my camera and took a few shots.

Type of Critique Requested

  • Aesthetic: Feedback on the overall visual appeal of the image, including its color, lighting, cropping, and composition.
  • Conceptual: Feedback on the message and story conveyed by the image.
  • Technical: Feedback on the technical aspects of the image, such as exposure, color, focus and reproduction of colors and details, post-processing, and print quality.

Specific Feedback and Self-Critique

Does the near black BG work? Or should I lighten it or darken it some more.

Technical Details

Canon 5D Mark IV, Canon 100mm L Macro lens, and my KX-800 twin flash at 1/8th power with a homemade diffuser, 1/200, f11, ISO 250, all manual settings. Edited in LR, cropped in just a bit for better composition.


The bees are back, Shirley! We haven’t seen any here in our corner of the world. The dark background doesn’t bother me, I’d be interested in hearing what others think or would do. Wonderful detail in the bee and I love how he is so intent on getting to that pollen. Looks like it has been a long winter for him. Nicely done.

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Great capture, Shirley. The focus is sharp and the lighting worked out very well. The dark background actually helps bring out the bee and flowers she is on. The green behind the bee helps with the transition. Glad to see they are back for you again.

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I don’t mind the dark background, but I find the bee herself to be a bit on the dark side. You could crop a little and selectively brighten if you wanted. I’m always torn by wanting to show the whole of a plant’s structure and not cut anything off. In this case, I like the bg flowers and the curve of the leaf on the left. You could try a CCW rotation to the original image and see if that buys you anything in terms of presentation. Even though birds like swans and some mergansers are back, we are a long way from having bees around so this is nice to see!

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Shirley: Love the detail in the bee but agree that brightening it would be an improvement. When I open the image the bright buds immediately grab my eye and then I have to look for the bee. Once I find it I enjoy it very much but the bright spots are serious eye magnets. I’m not sure I would have the PS skills to leave the BG dark, brighten the bee and perhaps subdue the buds but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. :wink:>=))>

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Thank you @linda_mellor @Dean_Salman @Kris_Smith and @Bill_Fach for your kind comments and for taking the time to view. Yeah, these were the only flowers available, white and not pretty, and putting a dark bee on it was a bit of a challenge. Not a wall hanger so I probably won’t take the time that I don’t have right now to see if I can improve it. Thanks though for your advice.

Shirley, the bee is nice and sharp and it’s really good to feel like spring is starting… One thing you can do to let the bee have a stronger presence is to create a mid-tone mask (targeting the middle tones) and dodge the bee. I think you’ll be surprised at how much mid-tone adjustments can do for overall viewing.