Wallowing in the Poppy

Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


Wallowing is the only word I can think of for how bees react to California Poppies. They get down and just work in circles around the anthers and seem to be having a great time. This is one of the solitary bees and even with a chart of our local natives I can’t be sure. The closest I can come is something called a female Cellophane Bee (Colletes) as it’s labeled on the poster, but there are some others that are very close in appearance.

Specific Feedback

I’m not sure about the composition of this image. I wanted to include the curves of the poppy petals on the bottom and the right to lead down in to the center.

Technical Details

Sony A7Riv, 70-200 f/4 macro @ 200 mm, f/14, 1/640, iso 2000. Processed in LR & PS CC. Cropped to 3144x2358. Cleaned up some white pollen streaks on the petals. Taken June 8th at 9:03 a.m. under partly cloudy skies.

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1 Like

Poppies attract a lot of pollinators. You caught a very interesting pose here with good detail. Excellent rendering of the amazing saturated orange colors, which are way out of gamut for any kind of display and seem to push sensors and raw converters into overdrive.

I’m very impressed with how sharp the bee is, as it’s tiny! As for the comp, the petal lines separating darker from paler sections sort of roll with the bee, so you got the wallowing feel there too, as I think you intended. I also like the symmetry of the 2 orange sections, paler and darker. A success!

Wow Dennis, love this. The orange really pops but stays “believable”. The sharp bee takes it to a whole 'nother level too. Fine composition. Well done!

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