August 10, 2009 – Bee and Flower


Monday, August 10, 2009
Hey again everyone, welcome to Monday! As some of you know, I have been hyping this image since late last night via my Facebook profile, so for those of you affected by that: here it is, your payoff!

I snapped this picture this weekend, and while I usually try to be really modest about my photos, I’m just going to go ahead and say it: this is one of the best pics I’ve ever taken, maybe even at the top of the list. I mean, oh my god. Just look at it. Holy crap! I mean, I took a bunch of pics this weekend that looked pretty good on the little display on the back of the camera, but when I brought them home to flip through them on the big screen, I about pooped myself when I saw this one. I mean, holy crap, this is a seriously amazing picture, right??

This was taken in the rose garden right next to the zoo here in Seattle. Julie and I had been walking through earlier last week, and I was lamenting that I really didn’t know how to get a good picture of a rose. (Before we get any further: yes, I realize this isn’t a rose. Shut up.) I mean, sure, roses themselves are pretty, but the rest of the bush is kind of.. plain. You don’t get huge fields of color like you do with other flowers, so I didn’t know how to frame a rose picture in an interesting way. It’s just a jumble of… stuff. But I figured there had to be SOMETHING you could do with a rose, so I started thinking through some ideas. And I came up with a few. And you’ll see the results here from time to time, ’cause I got quite a few that came out really nicely.

Why am I bringing that up? Because I decided to test out the ideas I was thinking through this weekend. I took a couple field trips to the garden to see what I could come up with. (Yes, that’s right, I managed to walk *all the way across the street*. ***TWICE***. My dedication is unparalleled.) On my way back home, I passed by a bunch of these flowers, and I spent some time playing around with them as well. And then I saw the bees. And then it was all over.

Normally I use a 28-300 mm lens for everything, because I am allergic to changing lenses. (I break out in rashes, really weird.) But, lately I’ve been chafing a bit under some of the shortcomings of that lens, so I’m reluctantly sliding back toward using specialized lenses for stuff. For these in particular, I dug up my old 70-300 mm telephoto macro lens that I used quite a bit back in the day. I did some experiments, and it became clear that even though they’re both listed as 300mm, this one could get me in closer, particularly for macro shots. And, as you can see, my decision paid off.

There, now you’ve seen it. The legendary “best picture ever”. I promise, tomorrow I’ll be back to my normal bashful humble self. I’ll even post a crappy picture so I can be brutally honest about how much it sucks. It’ll be fantastic, you’ll see!

(Great satellite imagery, I was able to nail the exact plant this picture came from!)

To see some really interesting, artistic use of a macro lens, check out this guy’s blog.  Although I’m linked to an image of lilypads, not anything macro…

Also, here’s a bunch of fantastic macro shots worth looking at.

Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Quantaray 70-300 mm lens. 1/500s, f/5.6, ISO 400. Focal length: 300mm.

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  1. avatar
    Anonymous August 12, 2009

    You even managed to capture the bee from an angle that covers it’s private parts! How very tasteful

  2. Reply

    […] I’ll admit, this is getting a bit ridiculous. Ever since I posted that bee and flower a few weeks ago ( ), I’ve sort of gone off the deep end […]

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