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Posts Tagged ‘coneflower’

I love to watch bees as they gather pollen—they seem so industrious and focused as they systematically work their way through a group of flowers. This honey bee had both of its pollen sacs almost completely filled when I spotted it yesterday on a cone flower in the garden of one of my neighbors, fellow photographer Cindy Dyer.

One of the joys of shooting with a macro lens is that it lets you capture so many fine details, like the pollen grains on the legs of this bee and the slight damage on the trailing edges of the bee’s wings. Bees are also a great subject to practice macro techniques, because they often let you get really close without being spooked and flying away.

honey bee

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Where do you find beauty in your daily life? I often feel a sense of awe and wonder when I simply contemplate the gorgeous flowers in the garden of my neighbors.

I think the white flowers are a variety of coneflowers and the purple sphere in the upper right corner is a globe thistle.

Coneflowers

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Sometimes, simple compositions of familiar subjects result in the best images, like this recent shot of an Eastern Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa virginica) on a purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea).

It came out just as I imagined when I was looking through the viewfinder of my camera and required a minimum amount of tweaking and no cropping.

At times, it’s not complicated.

bee_cone_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Do your review your photos rapidly before you choose the ones to post or do you carefully and systematically evaluate them and only then select the best ones?

I am often in a hurry.  Sometimes I will stop to work on a shot that I like before I have even reviewed the complete set of images. I generally  don’t work up postings in advance and I’ll write up the posting and push the “Publish” button with out realizing that I may have unmined gold waiting to be discovered.

Only later, when I go through the entire set of shots do I realize that I have a better shot than the one I posted and realize I should have at least posted both of them. If the differences are only minor, I won’t do an additional posting, but sometimes, like today, I feel compelled to post a second image.

As was the case in yesterday’s posting, this is a shot of what I think is an Eastern Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa virginica)—or possibly a bumblebee— on a Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea). The angle and the lighting helped me capture a significant amount of the detail and texture of both the bee and the flower and the colors came through with a beautiful vibrancy. The bee was in an unusual position, which adds to the visual interest of the image.

This is one of my favorites of my recent images. You might think that this experience will teach me a lesson about the value of a full review before choosing images to process, but I suspect that this will happen again from time to time. I know my habits too well.

bee2cone_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

 

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Yesterday was a beautiful, sunny day, but it was very breezy, which made it tough for me to get decent shots of bees in my neighbors’ garden. I am still going through my photos (and deleting a lot of them), but I was immediately drawn to this image of an Eastern Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa virginica) on a Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea).

Although the dark background suggests the use of flash, I wasn’t using any flash and the shutter speed of 1/400 in the EXIF data is faster than the synch speed of my flash. I was trying to get as close to the bees as I could and the height of the coneflowers made it possible to get at eye level with the bee and get this head-on shot.

bee1_cone_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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