Bonus – Pollen Buckets and Beebelly at High ISO

This one is a little too grainy to be a bee of the day. But I’m so taken by the shot – the bee – and the flower. First, look at those pollen buckets. So so full. Then her face – eye and mandibles. Then her belly. Then finally her posture – how she’s hanging by one leg. Sometimes they get a little stuck. She thrashed for a minute, finally turned around, put up another leg and pulled herself up – got free and flew to the next flower.

Was shot at 8:30 a.m. – before the sun crested the mountain, so not much light. When I shoot bees, I shoot in Pentax’ TAV mode. That means that I control the shutter speed (1/640 in this case) and the aperture (f/5.6 in this case) and let the camera determine the ISO. And, in this case because the light was so low/absent, it jumped to 3200. With the K-3, anything above 800 ISO gets too grainy for my tastes – especially on a tight crop like this pic.

That said, when shooting moving subjects, the ability to control both the shutter speed and aperture (all other things equal) is a great technique. If your camera doesn’t have that TAV setting, you may be able to go into Manual Mode (M on most cameras) and specify automatic ISO – effectively giving you the same thing.

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