Here’s a little touch of nature for you. I stopped to take some photos around the harbor at Algoma, Wisconsin. It wasn’t a foggy day elsewhere, but conditions were right to create a foggy area around the piers and lighthouse. I took a few photos (some I’ll be posting later) of the pier and a fisherman in the fog, and the lighthouse and boats.
As I finished and headed back to my vehicle, I noticed a few wildflowers growing near the water. I stopped to take a few random shots. Then I noticed a few bees – always a favorite photographic subject of mine – so I stopped to take a few photos of them. Then, as I started to leave again, I noticed a flash of yellow. An American Goldfinch landed in a nearby patch of thistles to enjoy a meal. It didn’t seem bothered by my presence, so I started taking photos. (Some I’ll post later.)
While concentrating on the Goldfinch, I happened to notice a bee in the foreground and refocused on the bee for awhile…as the bird continued to feast in the background.
The one thing I don’t like about this image (and others in the batch) is the background. I think it looks unnatural and fake. The background is simply the water of the harbor. I would have preferred something that had a little more color variation, instead of the flat blue, but I wasn’t able to change my position to create a different look. The thistles were only a foot or two from the water and I was shooting from a position higher than the bird.
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We planted a patch of wildflowers next to our vegetable garden. Unfortunately, the weeds are out performing the flowers. Out of the several varieties that made up the wildflower mix we planted, the cosmos did best. This is one that attracted some of the local wildlife.
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This bee was about some serious bee work on the center of a purple cosmos flower. I don’t recall seeing this particular type of bee before – with white hair, orange antennae and a yellowish-green eye. However, this year I’ve photographed several.
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A couple of bees were working on this Sunflower when an ant decided to enter the picture. This is a flower in my wife’s flower bed. Not a flower she planted. One that was added by the birds dropping seeds from the feeders.
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Flowers are blooming and the bees are buzzing. This proved to be a popular spot in the meadow. Honey bees and bumble bees were frequenting this clump of purple spiderswort. It was early morning – maybe 6:30 (notice the dew still on the plants) – and they were already hard at it.
To get this shot, I put my camera on a tripod and simply focused on a colorful, well lit clump of flowers and waited. When a bee would enter into the scene, I would start clicking. The bees you see here are exactly how I photographed them…but they were never in the shot together. Since the focus and framing never changed, it was easy to combine the various bees from separate images into one.
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Beeline (noun) 1. direct, straight course. 2. To move swiftly in a direct, straight course.
One of my “quests” this summer was to capture a bee in flight. They’re small, quick and errattic. Hard to catch in focus. So far, none of my efforts have come close to what I would deem, “successful.”
The image above is the best I’ve managed…so far…and it was by accident. (That happens more than I might like to admit.)
I was taking photos around a flower bed beside our house. While I was changing camera settings, I accidentally pressed the shutter button. A that exact moment, a bee happened to be zipping into the frame…and voilá.
If I were trying for it, I wouldn’t try in black and white, but looking at this, I really like the intensity it creates. The bee – with his straight antennae, trailing legs and blurred wings – looks like he is on a do-or-die mission and will not be denied.
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To see more bee photos, check out the Bugs & Spiders gallery.
I discovered yellow spiders hiding among the the thistles. I assumed they were waiting for unsuspecting prey. I took some photos, downloaded them to my computer and posted them to this blog under the title Dangerously Alluring Beauty.
As you can see, a small bee, buzzing from flower to flower, attracted by the thistle, received an instant invitation to lunch.
The image on the right is the same scene from a different angle.
I wish I had hung around long enough to catch the action live. However, it just so happens, when I finished photographing this carnage, I noticed a similar yellow spider, poised with arms open wide, waiting for a its meal on a yellow flower. Then a bug came along. I started snapping pictures. The bug walked around the flower until it finally came face to face with the spider…and then…
You’ll have to watch for those images in a future post to see how it turned out.
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This is an image that dates back to 2006. This photo was the initial inspiration for my experimentation and reasonable success with macro photography.
My old camera, a Kodak Easyshare DX7590, did an exceptional job with macro shots. When I saw what was possible – after taking this image – I started to major on the minors. I can spend hours crouched down by a flower bed, moving slowly, trying to be unnoticed while I position my camera as close as possible to any tiny creatures I can find. I was just a few inches from this bee when I snapped this photo.
I love seeing the normally, unseen details of God’s creation. For instance, in this image, I am facinated by the bee’s wings, the pollen on the flower and bee’s legs, that little dongle thing protruding from the bee’s head, it’s eyes and the orange tipped spears of the cone flower.
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