Bees

The little buggers sure move fast and often.

The sun finally came out later afternoon today. As usual, bees were everywhere, but especially around the small flowers in the front yard.

They move around a lot, and not just hopping from flower to flower so one could follow them. It’s crazy trying to frame, focus, and shoot—the time it takes to do that is much longer than the average length of a bee’s stay at a flower.

So I got out the monopod to help with holding the heavy setup I was using: the Canon 300mm lens (about 5-6 pounds) and the Sony a7R IV (about 1.5 lbs). Out of about 40 photos, I got a very few that were focused, the bee had not simply left, etc.

Above, three bees in one frame. Only time that happened. :)

I caught a few bees deeply snuggled up inside the petals, but they were not snoozing. It was cute to watch them wiggle into tight spaces, though.

Technical info: Some of the images were taken at a focal length of 420mm, using the 1.4X extender on the 300mm lens (the top photo is the only one that made it through review; that setup is slow and clumsy). The sun shots were taken at around 1/1000th of a second and f/4, to try to freeze motion and give me a reasonable depth of field at the long focal length. I tried both ISO 100 and ISO 400, but the former was just too limiting. The higher ISO doesn’t seem to have caused any real problems with image quality.

The truth is that catching these fast moving bees is a hard job at my age, and I’m happy to have at least a few of them that look alright.