Most photographers have a few subjects that they like to shoot on a regular basis, honing their skills and always looking for a better shot; one of mine is honey bees on borage flowers. I always keep several of these plants in my garden. They bloom for quite a while, grow vigorously, and the bees love them, which is a good advertisement for any plant in my book.
I took this shot in really optimal conditions. an overcast day bright enough to cast shadows, warm enough for bees, and with little wind. I planned for the shot, finding an especially nice pair of parallel flowers and waiting for a nice bee, but I skipped the tripod and just shot by hand, which is my preference and obviously works just fine. I’ve tried taking these shots at very high shutter speed to freeze the wings, but my camera only goes up to 1/4000 which falls just short, and the wings can actually be distracting in a shot like this.
I took a similar borage and bee picture several days later for a photo contest.
Camera settings for bee and borage:
- Camera: Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi
- Lens: EF-S60mm f/2.8 Macro USM
- Shutter Speed: 1/400
- ISO: 400
- Aperture: 7.1
Post Processing: I boosted the contrast enough to get the blacks black, clone stamped out a distracting dark something on the right edge, and cropped it to frame it better. I set the sharpness to 3 in the raw file, which seemed like plenty.