July 31, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

They say, if there nothing to shoot, shrink your world. Shoot that which is small. This is a valuable tip that has helped me many times in the past. Sometimes a scene just does not speak to me and I simply don't "see" the shots. Nothing stands out and I struggle to find any good compositions. Perhaps this is similar to writer's block. When that happens, put the wide angle lens away and pull out the telephoto. Start looking and zooming. Before long you will start seeing images again. Just plug along with the telephoto and shrink the area that is in your shot. Once your mojo is back you can go back to the wider views again.

          In the absence of mountains and rivers and storms this is what I have done. I started looking for the small world. The small world is always present. You just need to look for it but once you start focusing on the small world you will start seeing how many options there are. I went to the garden and started following bees around. Before you do this, please stay safe. If you are allergic to bees stay away and find something else to photography.

This image was taken at 105mm. Set the aperture wide open to blur the background. Go to a bed a flowers where there is a lot of bee activity. This takes patience. Just try to get images, over and over. Follow the bees around. Overcast weather is the best for this kind of photography as we want diffused light. However, it should not be dreary. We still need a good amount of light because these guys are always on the move. To get sharp images we have to use a fast-ish shutter speed. A polarizer is generally a good idea to remove reflections and sheen from leaves. Try to shoot at 90 degrees from the sun which is where a polarizer works best.

          Try different angles. Shoot from different heights. Just play around.

We often think that the insect has to fill the frame to make a good image. This just is not true. We are not doing macro here. It is perfectly fine to leave some room for the insect to move around in. In fact, frame the image a bit looser. Show the habitat, the habits, and tell a story.

Have some fun. Hydrate and wear a hat. Just because it is overcast does not mean that the sun cannot burn you. We can get so involved taking these kinds of images that we lose sight of time, heat, and hydration. So take of yourself.


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