Xylocopa, The Guy

I was on my way back to the car after a long shoot and a long walk along the coast. I saw a few carpenter bees buzzing around some plants as I was going up the stairs. I was to tired to take them seriously until I saw this yellow one pop out from nowhere. I had on my 55mm and was toying with the idea of changing lenses but that meant I would have to clean the sensor as soon as I got back back home, so that was a no go. I only found out these weren’t bumble bees when I did a search on the net. This is the first and only time I’ve come across a yellow version. Apparently this is a male one, and they tend to be couch potatoes.

Specific Feedback Requested

All comments are welcome

Technical Details

1/2500 sec f/2.8 ISO 2000


My! You certainly nailed that one. Wonderful detail.

Amazing! Great subject, wonderfully sharp and super color!

So gloriously fuzzy that I want to pet him. I do pet bumblers from time to time, but only when they’re busy nectaring. This one in flight is positively great! Fabulous detail and light - that little rimlight is nice to give more separation and distinction to the bee. Thanks for pausing long enough to get this and then to share.

@Kris_Smith @Ronald_Murphy @Diane_Miller Thanks for the comments. Kris, the males have no stinger so they should be up for a pet :grin:

It’s so good, Andre; I want to see more macros from you! By the way, do you use those special swabs for cleaning your sensor? I once went into a shop in Seoul and asked them to clean my sensor. The guy came back out at the end with my camera in one hand and a bit of old toothbrush in the other!

@Mike_Friel Thanks for the comment. Yes, I use the swabs. I have to order them from amazon though, and they take about 6 weeks before I get them. I think I’ll wait it out and take a pass on the toothbrush technique :sweat_smile: I haven’t taken much shots in the last couple of months but I’m hoping to get out more next month. Hopefully I’ll find some interesting macro subjects,

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Stunning, Andre. The colors on this guy are amazing. Very sharp and I love the BG. Great shot!!

What a shot, Andre! Wonderful details in him.

This is excellent, Andre. The clarity and details in the bee are striking as is the color combination of his yellow against the greenish background

@Donna_Callais @Shirley_Freeman @Mark_Seaver Thanks for the comments.

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This is an exceptional bee macro, Andre! I wish you had a little more shutter speed to stop the wings but that’s a minor thing because of all that amazing detail you got on it’s body! Well done! :+1:

Thanks for the feedback Gary.

OK Andre, time for you to do a tutorial: Insects in flight. I have chased a lot of dragonflies around and nailed a few, but they’re not as sharp as this gem. So wonderful to get the yellow species. I assume autofocus and a lot of frames?

Thanks for the comments James.
My insect shooting skills are super basic. I haven’t clocked in any real time in the insect world.
After looking back at my catalog, looks like I shot this 7 years ago, didn’t use burst mode (probably scared to play with the settings and miss the shot) and used autofocus. Probably continuous autofocus.
I remember liking what the light was doing but also trying to minimalise the hot spots on the leaves in the background.
I shot this with an a6000 for about 10mins before I got this shot. The bee was buzzing around the area and eventually it hovered in one place for a moment and I pushed the button. I took 62 frames in total with just a few keepers. Honestly, I think it’s mostly luck and my waiting around that allowed me to get the shot.