Polinating + Repost

Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


I’m not sure what the ID of this little pollinator is, so if anyone has some input on that, I would greatly appreciate it. They usually are skittish, so was glad when this guy was so busy with what he was doing that he let me get in close enough for a 1:1 macro shot.

Specific Feedback

Is the BG too distracting? Composition work?

Technical Details

Canon 5D Mark IV, Canon 100 mm f2.8 L macro lens, KX-800 twin flash with DIY diffuser, HH, all manual settings to include manual focus. 1/200, f10, ISO 160. Edited lightly in LR.

With suggested edits. I also added a tiny bit of vignette. What do you think?

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A fuzzy fly and fuzzy flowers. Terrific catch! I think this is a type of Bombyliidae which is a family of bee imitating flies that has hundreds of species. They cannot retract the proboscis and so they bang around with it out like that instead of discreetly folded like a butterfly’s. Adults eat nectar, but the kids…oh the kids. They are parasitic or direct predators of other insect eggs and larvae. Such is life.

I really like the X you managed to get with the flower stems going in different directions. You could crop the top most blossom with its dead part if you wanted - the placement of the fly should work for it. Lovely light and flash control as always.

Thank you, Kris. That is a wonderful Indepth description of this little guy. I appreciate that.

Hopefully tomorrow I can get a chance to try cropping more off the top. Thank you.

Hi Shirley,
once again a wonderful macro shot. The composition is great.
I agree with @_Kris about the crop. Maybe I would additionaly burn the brightest blossom in the blurry background slightly (in the upper left).

@_Kris, Thank you very much for my daily dose of insect education. This makes the little unknown critters interesting and somehow likeable.

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You’re welcome, @Jens_Ober - I have an ever-growing collection of field guides, general nature books and subject specific books that I use for identification and just to learn about the things I’m taking pictures of. I love learning new things and continue to be surprised by all the things nature does and is. I think I posted about my collection at some point here on NPN in the resources section, but it probably needs updating with the last few books I bought.

Nope, it was in discussions -


Wow, really cool. That’s a lot of resources. I will check that out. Thank you.

I use two apps to identify objects:

  1. Seek: Identifying animals and plants based on photos
  2. Merlin: Identifying birds by their chirping

I’m amazed by the second one. The app records the audio signal and can identify several birds out of the Voice clutter:


Hi Shirley,
I like your rework. I wonder what the picture would look like if you hadn’t cut off the flower on the right edge.
I guess you wanted to keep the same aspect ratio?

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Ok, so one click. One. Click.

The new Remove Tool in Photoshop.

Two clicks -


Great new tool! Nicely done @_Kris!

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Thank you @_Kris for your rework by just clicking. Sometimes I just think crop and not clone. I like what you did. I really didn’t want to lose any of the top flowers.

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Shirley, these bees are hard to shoot because they move so fast, constantly. You did well here, with excellent detail in the bee and the flowers. I like your original post where the flowers aren’t cut off on the right edge. I could also see cropping a bit tighter from the lower left to move the bee closer to the LRC.

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