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Bee - Collecting Pollen

By DaveRyder  
Taken for the weekly B&W 'Summer' challenge - the colour variant.
Which I prefer.
My grandchildren were also fascinated to see the Bee enlarged beyond this image.
This was taken with a 10mm extension tube, a reasonable distance between the Bee sting and me.....
Over a period of 15-20 mins lots of shots with varying success (OK some rubish, the bee just won't pose) - This is the best.
I was aiming for shallow DOF to focus attention on one Lilac flower with the Bee collecting Pollen.
Tried several setting, from full manual to auto.
In the end went for fixed 200ASA,Manual focus with Program exposure with small spot metering.
Took a exposure lock a few seconds before each shot - this allowed me to keep up with changing light.

GB Sports Photographer & The Panasonic LUMIX S1


dudler Plus
16 947 1520 England
24 Jul 2016 11:10AM
A few thoughts, though macro and closeup are areas where I operate quite uneasily myself...

Both the lack of shadows and the EXIF data suggest that the light where you were shooting was pretty constant: that means that a good way to work would be to establish the correct exposure (through test shots and examining the histogram), and then set that manually. Contrary to popular assumption, you don't need to meter every shot: so long as the conditions remain the same, the exposure will. The slight differences you see when shooting in any sort of auto mode are the result of of slight changes in the brightness of the things in the frame as the composition varies: if you think about it, you really don't want that sort of variation. The right exposure remains the right exposure for hte main subject. (I realised this when shooting figures against a bright background with a dark frame: I got wild variations in exposure, depending how much frame was in the image. Many different results looked good: but I wanted to control which sort of good I achieved. Test and set, ever since that lightbulb moment a few years back!)

And Program mode always gives up control of aperture and shutter speed: you were keen to manage the former, and it's only the poor light that has delivered a near-maximum aperture. Honestly, 'point, press, and hope for the best doesn't hit the spot - and your constant experimenting to get htis shot proves that you don't really believe that any more, I reckon!)

Technical stuff aside, this looks good, and it's fascinating, as you and your grandaughter decided, to look at something like this in detail. And while looking at the bee in real life is unmissable, a still allows you to study detail at leisure. The composition works well, though I'm going to try a rather tighter crop in my mod.

One final thought: if it stings you, the bee dies. Therefore, bees usually avoid stinging: it's only if you threaten the hive, or they are disoientated, that the threat is that real. So a bee-keeping friend assured me...

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paulbroad Plus
12 131 1285 United Kingdom
24 Jul 2016 12:19PM
Exposure is good and that is unusual with spot set on auto. Did you lock the exposure because spot should be used with great caution on any auto setting. Spot needs to be aimed at a tone approximating to 18% grey or the exposure WILL require compensation.

This is not bad compared to many we see, but nothing is fully sharp. For me you need more depth of field than this. You are on a small sensor, but I would still have been at f8 or 11 to get more sharp. However, with a 2X crop sensor you are at 170mm equivalent so some shake is likely at 1/160 shutter speed with such image magnification.

banehawi Plus
15 2.1k 4036 Canada
24 Jul 2016 2:59PM
Well done. Its a good shot overall, showing good detail in the Bee.

To me, it looks a little underexposed, and the mod has +2/3 applied; cropped square; and slightly sharpened.

Being a 2X crop sensor, the aperture is effectively also doubled, making the f/4.8 similar to an f/9 or so on a 35mm.


mrswoolybill Plus
12 1.6k 2080 United Kingdom
24 Jul 2016 3:48PM
Really good! Strong points - the precise focus and appropriate depth of field, the 'direct eye contact' pose, the dynamic angle of the wings.

All it needs for me is a tighter crop and a Levels tweak, to extend tonal range a wee bit. I've uploaded a modification - I cropped to square to place the face on the upper left third, then tweaked Levels to bring the outer sliders inward to touch the rise and fall of the graph line. Apart from that I used the dodge tool very discreetly on the face, and added a bit of unsharp mask. Just finishing touches, I think this is worth that bit extra attention.
DaveRyder Plus
5 3.4k 1 United Kingdom
24 Jul 2016 3:55PM


Being a 2X crop sensor, the aperture is effectively also doubled, making the f/4.8 similar to an f/9 or so on a 35mm.

This was something I wasn't aware of - so thank you or this insight into M4/3
DaveRyder Plus
5 3.4k 1 United Kingdom
24 Jul 2016 4:00PM
Thank you all for the constructive insight.
I appreciate the 3 Mods, offering areas of improvement in both technique and what remains my weakest area - Post processing.
I'm very obviously using about 2.50 of my 7 subs to Adobe.... Smile

Thank you for spending you time to comment.
26 Jul 2016 8:48AM
Like the pov and composition Dave,

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