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Introducing myself: Bee collecting water
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IvanG



Joined: 18 Jan 2018
Posts: 31
Location: Mexico

PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:36 pm    Post subject: Introducing myself: Bee collecting water Reply with quote

Hello everyone. I'm a new member of this community and would like to introduce myself by first saying how amazed I am at the great work and depth of useful information contained in this site. I've been a professional photographer for 30 years+, but macro photography is still a relatively recent area for me and I'm looking to continue learning. It was in that search for knowledge that I came upon this site, so I want to thank everyone here for helping me further that area of my photography.

I think it's proper I should include one of my pictures here, open of course to comment and criticism.

This image was taken during a spell of very hot days here in the Yucatan Peninsula, bees were specially busy collecting water so I was keen to take advantage of the ensuing photo opportunities.

EXIF: Nikon D800E, Micro-Nikkor 200mm/f4, 1/250 - f/18, ISO 500. External flash in soft-box.


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tevans9129



Joined: 30 Nov 2017
Posts: 129
Location: TN

PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent image Ivan and welcome to the group, a very knowledgeable group here and willing to help us that need it.
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 19090
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ivan, welcome aboard!

Your introductory image is great! I'm pretty sure that it raises the bar for future first-timers. Very Happy

Based on highlights in the eye and the water drops, I'm thinking that the illumination is with dual strobes, not hidden behind large diffusers. Good control of specular reflections, despite the rather small size of the lights.

I particularly like that the bee's tongue is visible extending into the water drop, and that we can also see a reflection of the bee in the water underneath. Without that reflection, I suspect that the water would not be recognizable as such.

I'm curious... How many frames did you shoot of this general scene, to get this one so excellent?

--Rik
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IvanG



Joined: 18 Jan 2018
Posts: 31
Location: Mexico

PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tevans9129 wrote:
Excellent image Ivan and welcome to the group, a very knowledgeable group here and willing to help us that need it.


Thank you so much tevans912, I appreciate it. Smile
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IvanG



Joined: 18 Jan 2018
Posts: 31
Location: Mexico

PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rjlittlefield wrote:
Ivan, welcome aboard!

Your introductory image is great! I'm pretty sure that it raises the bar for future first-timers. Very Happy

Based on highlights in the eye and the water drops, I'm thinking that the illumination is with dual strobes, not hidden behind large diffusers. Good control of specular reflections, despite the rather small size of the lights.

I particularly like that the bee's tongue is visible extending into the water drop, and that we can also see a reflection of the bee in the water underneath. Without that reflection, I suspect that the water would not be recognizable as such.

I'm curious... How many frames did you shoot of this general scene, to get this one so excellent?

--Rik


Thanks so much Rik, you're very kind!

Your observation on the lights are generally correct. To be more specific: I used one strobe with a small soft-box off to the right side as key light, plus one bare strobe through a snoot off to the left for a crossing backlight to help bring out more detail (I believe that's the culprit for the harsher highlights on the legs and on the blurry wing of the bee). The water was murky and dark, you're right, the bee's reflection actually shows that it is water.

I just went back to LightRoom to check: I shot 460 frames over the course of 5 hours. It kind of surprised me to see I spent so much time shooting this scene, I do tend to become engrossed in this kind of work. I pared that down to 80 "usable" images, mostly bees drinking directly from the water from the edge of the leaves. Among those were only two shots of the bee going straight into a drop of water, this is the better one.

Again, thanks.
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Lou Jost



Joined: 04 Sep 2015
Posts: 2531
Location: Ecuador

PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's often said that the difference between a good photographer and a great one is that the great one throws away most of his or her images.
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razashaikh



Joined: 14 Nov 2017
Posts: 124
Location: India

PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello and Welcome Ivan,

You are indeed right, there are many great photographers here with equally great work.

As a novice photographer in the world of macro photography, I have learned a lot from this forum.

Lastly beautiful shot.

Have a nice day.

Regards,
Raza
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 19090
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I shot 460 frames over the course of 5 hours. It kind of surprised me to see I spent so much time shooting this scene, I do tend to become engrossed in this kind of work.

Time flies when you're having fun! As I work the numbers, that averages out to about 40 seconds per image. That seems pretty measured and methodical. The key thing is that you kept at it for so long. A great example!

--Rik
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Olympusman



Joined: 15 Jan 2012
Posts: 3715

PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 8:59 am    Post subject: Bee Reply with quote

Very nice shot.

Mike
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Troels



Joined: 15 Feb 2016
Posts: 339
Location: Denmark, Engesvang

PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A beautiful picture of an animal actally doing something in its environment.
I generally like this kind of pictures containing a story. But this is nice above normal, especially for a non-stacked shot.
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IvanG



Joined: 18 Jan 2018
Posts: 31
Location: Mexico

PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 12:14 pm    Post subject: thank you Reply with quote

Thank you Raza.
Just last night I couldn't go to sleep, my eyes glued to the screen, looking at so much great photography that's been posted here. Plus all those incredible rigs for focus stacking and microscope lenses and such!
So, like you said, there's much to be learned from all the talented photographers gathered in this site.
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IvanG



Joined: 18 Jan 2018
Posts: 31
Location: Mexico

PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 12:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Bee Reply with quote

Olympusman wrote:
Very nice shot.

Mike


Thank you Mike! Dare I say, totally off topic, that I went to junior high for one year, ages ago, in your town, Bethlehem, Pa.? Fond memories! :-)
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IvanG



Joined: 18 Jan 2018
Posts: 31
Location: Mexico

PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="rjlittlefield"]
Quote:
That seems pretty measured and methodical. The key thing is that you kept at it for so long.
--Rik


I'm sure there's a healthy dose of that in so much of the work on this site, otherwise, how could one explain it? ;-)
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IvanG



Joined: 18 Jan 2018
Posts: 31
Location: Mexico

PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Troels wrote:
I generally like this kind of pictures containing a story. But this is nice above normal, especially for a non-stacked shot.


Thank you very much Troels. I too am partial to behavior shots, which makes me feel specially amazed at some of the work shown here using the stacking technique with live specimens... something I very much hope to learn how to do... but I can't fathom how, with subjects that move so fast!
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IvanG



Joined: 18 Jan 2018
Posts: 31
Location: Mexico

PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lou Jost wrote:
It's often said that the difference between a good photographer and a great one is that the great one throws away most of his or her images.


Thank you Lou. I subscribe to that and strive to be merciless when it comes to editing my work. By the way, great stuff on your blog, looks like a really amazing place in Ecuador!
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