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Old Apr 21, 2011, 10:31 PM   #1
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Default Flowers and a BIF

Yesterday I took both the K100 and K5 out with the Hoya R72 filter (camera bag packed the night before). The marine layer hadn't burned off by lunchtime so there wasn't much of a sun. While the pictures weren't much because conditions weren't great, it did convince me that the K5 doesn't register reflected infrared light - it was like shooting through a red filter. The white balance was really bizarre and the whole session was frustrating. It was a day that would have been better spent shooting flowers, but I didn't have the right lenses. That, on top of my disappointment with the Powell Library pictures, means that I've been feeling like I've lost my ability to take a reasonable picture.

So today, on a much brighter day that would have been better for IR, I trekked over to the Botanical Garden with a couple of macro lenses. I recently bought a Lowepro Classified 200 bag, and put the tripod across the top of the bag. It worked, but makes the bag heavier than I would like. It's been a while since I've visited and it was soothing. Flowers are both easy and frustrating to shoot (easy to get a pretty or cute shot, but difficult to get an outstanding shot). These aren't outstanding, but I really liked them.

First, the bees:



I had lined up the flower with a bee on it. Just before I pushed the shutter, another bee came by and the first one left. I like how this came out.

Second, the flower the bees were hanging out around:



Finally, a Poppy:



There were few poppies (few flowers at all) on the Gorman Hills this year. There were some around the Poppy Reserve in the Antelope Valley, but it was a poor year over-all for wildflowers. It was a wonderful surprise to see some blooming in the Botanical Gardens. It's a flower I can't resist (the California state flower).

Any comments about which you like or if there's something you don't like is always appreciated.
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Old Apr 21, 2011, 10:52 PM   #2
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I really quite like that first shot...with the bee action. I've gone back to it a couple of times. Excellent...lighting action freeze...like the clear and blurry pix of the Bee's..really adds flavour of a busy plant....one Bee landing...the other taking off.

Just a great shot...also the lighting on the green parts (sorry, not a flower expert)...gives it an other worldly look...really framed nicely...the whole effect of the picture is a complete story....activity, insect and plant life...all in a little world.

One of those photos you see, that I wish I had taken.


That's been one of my photo goals....to get a good shot of a Bee approaching a flower.

I have a Pentax 50 mm Macro F 2.8, I usually use for close ups of vintage car parts (hood ornaments, etc.)...great for this...but I have to get too close for insects...a 100 to 180mm Macro would be better.

Thinking of putting my KM and 50 Macro on a Gorilla pod, aiming ...at flower....stepping back and using my electronic wireless shutter release to activate...all from a distance.

It will be hit and miss...but can't think of how else, at this point.
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Old Apr 22, 2011, 12:19 AM   #3
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i too like the bee picture alot! it is very nice!
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Old Apr 22, 2011, 7:15 AM   #4
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Lesmore, find some flowers the bees like and just start chasing them...thats what I do. Get some great shots and some 'whats in the pic shots too'. I have learned patience following them. We haven't had many bees out in last couple years...not when I need them. Have a great shot of a swarm one very hot day that landed in my tree, if I had had a hive ready I would have snatched them up! Love them Bees.

Great photos above.

My biggest problem with flowers: just as I get ready to shoot a flower, this big gust of wind always comes up...not there before mind you...was perfectly still.

Last edited by lisalonewolf; Apr 22, 2011 at 7:16 AM. Reason: add a line
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Old Apr 22, 2011, 11:10 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lisalonewolf View Post
Lesmore, find some flowers the bees like and just start chasing them...thats what I do. I tried that...but then they turn around and start chasing me...and they're faster and better armed than I am....Get some great shots and some 'whats in the pic shots too'. I have learned patience following them. Patience I think is the key...I need to work on that in my photographyWe haven't had many bees out in last couple years...not when I need them. Have a great shot of a swarm one very hot day that landed in my tree, if I had had a hive ready I would have snatched them up! Love them Bees.

Great photos above.

My biggest problem with flowers: just as I get ready to shoot a flower, this big gust of wind always comes up...not there before mind you...was perfectly still.
Thanks for the advice, I will give chasing Bees a shot.
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Old Apr 22, 2011, 11:45 AM   #6
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I can't see what is not outstanding about that first shot - it is a winner in my book. Nothing wrong with the second one either.

As you have found out, flowers are not always as easy to photograph as people might think think they should be (since they stay put), unless you have complete control of the situation. In spite of the fact that California Poppies are common, they don't last very long in peak condition, so finding one in the field in the proper pose, age, and condition, with the proper lighting and in still air isn't easy - this is not a criticism, but this one is past its prime - technically the picture is good, however the subject isn't the best, but you have to do with what is available. You need to plant your own so you can have the luxury of being choosy!
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Old Apr 22, 2011, 4:31 PM   #7
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Hi Harriet,

The bee shot is terrific! When stuff like this happens to me, I'm usually too tightly framed to get anything but an errant leg or butt at the edge of the frame.

Scott
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Old Apr 22, 2011, 4:36 PM   #8
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Nice blooms, that Bee In Flight is great!

Ed
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Old Apr 22, 2011, 7:40 PM   #9
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Scott - usually I miss the action all-together, the bees are long gone by the time I press the shutter. But they often come back to a flower, I've been known to stop, focus and then wait for a while, hoping a bee will come back. I don't have patience to do that too much, though.

I also relate to the breeze - there was a very tiny flower on a slim stem that I wanted to shoot when I first walked into the botanical garden. It was pretty still as I set up the tripod and took the camera out of the bag and switched to the Viv 105 macro. Got everything lined up and a breeze came up, set the tiny flowers bobbing. I tried a couple of shots but gave up after a few minutes, went searching for flowers with sturdier supports.

Penolta - I should plant some poppies, they grow in our area with little care. My gardening skills (and time available) is so limited, I do well to not kill everything off, so poppies might just work in my yard. There are several people that have them planted, but they haven't bloomed up this high yet. However, the tulips some previous owner planted came up today, I might have a chance to photograph one.
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Old Apr 23, 2011, 7:36 AM   #10
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Love the bee in flight....it's like..."ok..mission accomplished..I am outta here".Very nice!
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