Macro,  Nature

Photographing Bees on a Late Summer Morning

Late summer and early autumn mornings are a terrific time to photograph bees and other insects.  The trick is to get out just before sunrise.

Bee on a Yellow Flower

On these chilly mornings, the bees are in a state of stasis giving you the opportunity to shoot close up using your macro lens.   If you pick the right location with a lot of blooming goldenrod and flowers,  you should be able to photograph several bees before the sun warms up the bees.

Here are a few tips for shooting bees and other insects at sunrise.

  • Use a tripod and a remote shutter release.  The dim light just prior to sunrise will result in long exposures.
  • Pick a morning with little wind or bring along a Wimberly Plamp to hold the branches steady.  The movement of the branches from the wind can result in blurry photos in the dim light.

Bee on Goldenrod

  • Use a macro lens to get close to the bee.  Use extension tubes to get really close.
  • It’s all about the background.  Make sure you have a clean, blurry background.  Choose a composition without branches and grass close to the subject in the background.
  • Experiment with several apertures to balance how much of the subject is in focus vs. a blurry background.  You can also use the wide aperture shows to replace the background of a photo with a smaller aperture.

Bee on a Yellow Flower

Written by Martin Belan

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