Back Modifications (2)
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Busy Bee

By karen50
Macro of a Bumble Bee from my flower garden. I would like some feed back on what is missing from the photo.

Tags: General Flowers and plants Close-up and macro Digitally manipulated Wildlife and nature

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


Term 12 86 9 England
5 Feb 2013 5:02PM
As a classic macro shot I guess you could argue its a little dark and the lighter areas are burnt out/too bright, and there is minimal parts of the image that are in focus.


I really like it, I think it works as a modern almost abstract image, that requires closer inspection. Its vibrant and as an overall image works really well.

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vickyf 12 8 8 United Kingdom
6 Feb 2013 9:22AM
I really like this. Good subject and nice composition. In an ideal world I'd like to see more detail in the bee. The focus looks as if it's on the centre of the bee and I think maybe a wider aperture so that both the bee and the centre of flower was in focus would make an even better image. Also the 2 dark spots on the petals to the right of the bee are a bit distracting and should be cloned out? But an impressive image Smile
Focus_Man 8 481 631 United Kingdom
6 Feb 2013 10:23AM

Quote:. The focus looks as if it's on the centre of the bee and I think maybe a 'wider' aperture so that both the bee and the centre of flower was in focus would make an even better image.

narrower aperture, the camera was set to its widest available aperture already.

You can see from the histogram that this is underexposed but that is easily sorted in processing. I do think because this is a close-up and not a macro that you would need to make a crop to be able to see the bee at all. I will upload a mod where I will brighten up your image and crop to a square image but unfortunately, I will need to increase the file sixe as the crop will reduce it a lot. Hope you approve.
paulbroad 10 123 1238 United Kingdom
6 Feb 2013 1:55PM
You are trying to shoot macro with a lens that will not do it very well. You need much more depth of field but there does not appear to be a sharp plane of focus. You need a small aperture for better depth of field, at least f16. However, the kit zoom will not perform at it'best at tiny aperture.

You also needed the light on the bee to give it impact and lift brightness. Your choice of shutter speed and aperture were not ideal for macro. Smallest possible aperture with fast enough shutter speed to avoid shake.

banehawi Plus
13 1.8k 3866 Canada
6 Feb 2013 4:21PM
Hi Karen.

This is more correctly called a close-up shot, rather than a macro, - really a technicality. A macro shot produces a full 1:1 sized image of the subject, so using a macro lens, this shot would have the bee filling the frame a lot more.

Anyway, back to the shot. Its technically not a great shot, BUT, even so, it has its own charm. Its like looking into the bees secret world, a little dark, illuminated only by light filtering through petals. And it has terrific detail on the bees hairs too, a bonus. So it can work as it is.

Now from a technical point of view, the Bee, being (no pun) the subject is terribly underexposed in the black areas. This is because the camera has been presented with very bright areas, and a small very dark area simultaneously, so its decided to give preference to the brights, expose them as good as it can, at the expense of the poor Bee.

There is now way in post processing that the bees head can be recovered, as it has absolutely NO detail, - its a black block! I have uploaded a mod, which is as good as it can bet with post processing. You cannot extract whats not there.

So, - how would you deal with this if you had to do it over. There are two ways really, and both assume you are thinking like the camera, anticipating, and over-ruling its decision to prefer to expose for the light areas; first is you deliberately overexpose, by at least +1, so the Bee has a better chance; the other is, - and it really depends on how close you are to the subject, you force your flash on. if its at the right distance, it will illuminate the Bee.

Hope this helps,



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