View Full Version : A Few More Bee Shots

9th June 2013, 06:14 PM
With the lovely weather I decided to have another play with my bees in the garden and have now created an album of the shots in my website which I thought may be of interest to some. (all shot using the 60mm macro)

Here is one image from this:


and the album is here: http://imagesfromnature.foliopic.com/gallery/bee-proboscis-18576

If you do have a peek, I hope you enjoy them

9th June 2013, 07:31 PM
CORKER of an image ! fab :)

9th June 2013, 09:31 PM
That is another stunning image Brian, thanks for the web link, you have a lot of interesting things on your site I suggest anyone who uses the OM-D stop by to take a look, very informative.


9th June 2013, 10:16 PM
thanks for your comments Chevvy and Tom

9th June 2013, 10:29 PM
Another smashing image Brian.

10th June 2013, 03:38 PM
Stunning as always Brian! Thank you for sharing.
I now have a 60mm and I wish I could get results even half as good as you do! Do you have any tips for a newbie to this lens please?

10th June 2013, 03:59 PM
The technique that works for me is to set in in AV mode, usually IOS 400 to keep the shutter speed above 1/640th (above 1/100th if possible, these little beggars move fast even when standing still - apparently).

Set the focus limiter to closest focus range, not 1:1 (I find this is only of limited use)

I like to work at f8 if possible but will drop to f3.5 if needed to keep the speed up

EVF with 120fps in "live-view" mode and adjust the +/- EV to accommodate the changing light as follow the subject, working to expose to the right.

AFS focus mode with 4 fps frame rate (this for me is the revelation that first came with the 7D + canon 100 LIS, you can use AF to shoot macro whatever the "Experts" tell you). Use the AF to get first lock on the subject then holding half-pressed shutter gently rock the camera / your body back and forwards very slightly to get the focus spot on the eye. You should see it "Pop" into focus in the EVF as you go through the critical point.

The trick is to get used to your movement effect and fire the shutter just before the eye "pops" and hold the shutter for a couple of frames as you move

Start taking the shots from about max focus limit, then gently move in after each shot until you reach minimum focal distance (or the subject flies off)

Whatever you do don't let your shadow fall on the subject and if possible, approach on the same level / slightly below (I get the impression this is a blind spot). Start your experiments aiming to get the body parallel to the sensor of your camera then work around to the head-shots / full face work once you feel ready :) )

All hand-held of course (although it can work with a mono-pod + loose ball-head)

With a bit of practise it takes longer to describe than it does to carry out and it soon becomes second nature

Keep practising (and thanks for the kind comments :o )

11th June 2013, 07:31 AM
Terrific shots Brian and a masterclass on how to do it. Just great! *chr

11th June 2013, 08:47 AM
I've just realised that I left out a key stage in the process.

Before even picking up the camera I spend a few minutes checking the situation, where are the bees feeding, how are they behaving, what's the light like where they are etc.

This is key to my style of shooting and can make all the difference between a successful session or a wipe-out.

In this case I noticed that they were feeding on two main plants, Geranium Bowles Mauve and Teucrium.

With the Bowles they were having to take time as there were many flower heads / plant with deep nectar cups whereas with the Teucrium it was a snack and dash situation with them only stopping for a few seconds at most.

This set me to shoot on the Bowles and it was then a case of waiting until they approached the first flower, focus on that and tracking the bee as it moved around the plant (up to 30+ seconds in total)

No more chasing after the subject - they come to you with this method! *yes

11th June 2013, 08:58 AM
Thank you so much Brian, for all your very helpful advice. I really appreciate the trouble you have gone to, and I'm sure I, and many others will benefit from this write up!
If it wasn't a damp grey morning I would be out in the garden hunting bees right now!
Your skills are an inspiration Brian, so thank you once again!

11th June 2013, 09:01 AM
Glad you found it interesting but please note that I take no responsibility if you end up as addicted as I am to this fascinating subject :D

11th June 2013, 06:18 PM
So far I have only seen two bumble bees in my garden this year... usually the garden is full of them, but again this year not one ladybird yet... ( none at all last year), and just one butterfly...OH dear what have we done to the natural balance of nature? !!

11th June 2013, 07:43 PM
OH dear what have we done to the natural balance of nature? !!

I don't think we can claim to have done anything to the balance of nature but natural weather cycles periodically wreck havoc on species (which usually recover)

I've seen a few of these in my 70+ years here and the story goes back well before then:


Mrs T
11th June 2013, 07:45 PM
Great shot and really helpful tips.