Strange Shot – Backlit

Had a really good bee day yesterday. Home for a bit between art festivals and really should be doing other things, but the camera beckons. Never take time to shoot while I’m out/away. So I find myself with camera in hand with the bees more often than I probably ought on this break.

This is a twilight shot over the birdbath (which happens to be a huge, eroded stone from the deserts of Utah). Shot in to the setting sun so there’s some backlighting. Notice the reflections in the water. The technique was kind of a disaster. There wasn’t much light because twilight. And because there wasn’t much light, three bad things (vis a vis shooting bees) had to happen:
1) I had to shoot more slowly than I normally do. Specifically, 1/640th of a second rather than my normal, 1/1250+.
2) I had to open up the aperture way up. Specifically f/3.2 versus the f/~5.6 that’s somewhat normal. That means the depth of focus is much shallower.
3) The camera went to the maximum ISO that it’s allowed (1600). Makes it more sensitive to light, but introduces grain/artifacts in the picture.

Instead of focusing on a single bee like I usually do, I focused on a spot in the middle of the birdbath and clicked the shutter when there were bees in the frame. Got a LOT of blurry/out-of-focus shots and knew that would happen. The hope was I’d be clicking when one flew through the plane of focus. That happened a time or two – question of odds. Was clearly running out of light but wanted to keep shooting the bees…and this is what I came up with to accomplish that want. And it’s an interesting picture.

This is a dead horse I’m beating here on this site – but bees need water. Lots of articles on the ‘net about “pollinator gardens”, but very few mention providing water for the bees. And a regular bird bath or bucket won’t do because they need something to stand on when they drink. Can be as simple as a pie tin with some gravel in it. Do it.

Rate this photo