Ceratina smaragdula, Hawaii, Oahu.
I understand the need for this type of photography, and I can appreciate it. But it's just "documentary" macro and I don't think that killing subjects for a photo should be the norm. There's also a lot to be said for an image that tells a story, and you can shoot at high magnification without focus stacking...
As a scientist (albeit not a entomologist) and a nature photographer I fully understand the reason for this type of documentation. This is for the USGS and as such is an important resource for researchers who do study bees and insects. I also very much love nature photography of live animals and love those very much so I understand the discussion here about that type of nature photography. I very much like John Hallmen's outstanding photographs (and others mentioned here) but they are not of the macro detail that is exhibited in Sam Droege's photographs that is so important for research.
Each has its place and these serve a very important purpose that no doubt will help those tasked with understanding bee physiology and morphology in their work to keep these species alive and thriving as best we can.
As for technique, you are joking aren't you? Copying stuff with a 60mm macro on a rail with dead subjects hardly requires technique.
Sorry, but using dead subjects can hardly be called macro photography. It requires as much skill and patience as picking your nose. What next, killing elephants so that they stay in position? Simple things appeal to simple minds.
11th bee got the Metallica in it's name.
Every little move we make including the reason to kill those bees will be weighed in the balance of justice on the Day of Reckoning.
"Is it at all possible that God’s attribute of Preserver, which protects all things with the utmost order and balance, —things in the heavens and on the earth, on dry land and in the ocean, dry and wet, large and small, commonplace and exalted— and as it were, sifts their results by way of accounting — is it at all possible that this attribute should permit the deeds and acts of man, man who has been given the lofty disposition of humanity, the rank of the supreme vicegerency, and the duty of bearing the Supreme Trust, not to be recorded, not to be passed through the sieve of accounting, not to be weighed in the balance of justice, not to be punished or rewarded fittingly, even though his acts and deeds closely pertain to God’s universal dominicality? No, it is not in any way possible!" (The Collection of Risale-i Nur, The Words-The 10th Word-7th Truth)
Don't not kill a bee because god says no. Don't kill a bee because in your own free mind you know it is wrong.
try these live bee stacked shots, you can't beat natural light:
59 stacked shots:http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnhallmen/6070630712/in/faves-tobyjug5/95 stacked imageshttp://www.flickr.com/photos/99704562@N08/9580314169/in/photolist-fAzBCv-bL4pbR-eoJ2Y6-awKF4V-dzCinW-fWVJKd-9TcHfP-cqXK9y-bDVzm3-egNMNS-eJa2rD-aDB14n-d766ss-9XWVX5-9XCKnc-9XCJT2-aDERDh-cuKcNq-efeAbL-efeAch-csdibs-bCzyBv-exowa4-exowbp-exow8X-exow7t-exowaF-ctymAE-akbHVe-ekeVdR-9zhk9o-aky1vJ-eAQMNU-eAQKQW-bzzQZ1-bzzQZ5-czyoYA-efeAdy-c1w7Ty-bQsMyV-bQJ4xM-bQJ4ya-c1w7Ud-efin1a-fWaQcy-fWaQco-fWaQ7d-fXdARS-efin1r-fWaPXq-fXdAJY
Did you deep-freeze the poor thing to make it stand still and pose?
Sorry, but as a biologist who loves and does everything he can to support the dwindling natural environment in which we all have a deep and profound share, I find an album of photos of collected-and-killed bees about as appetising as those dreadful cases of pinned, dead (some now extinct) butterflies, moths and beetles collected by Victorian "explorers".
A dead bee that could be used to identify and protect endangered hives? Was the bee killed by the researchers?
-Pretentious signature referring to my real name.
I'm right there with you, BioWizard! Appreciating these photos is much like "appreciating" a lush studio shot of Marilyn Monroe's corpse.
When I saw the DPR teaser shot, I said "Wow! How did they get shots of bees in flight like that?" I was prepared to learn a cool new technique or something. Then the anti-climactic answer: Dead bee + $10K of publicly funded camera gear and time.
The researcher is free to follow their bliss. I'm not critiquing the work. But rather DPR's highlighting these mortuary shots. How about an article on someone dealign with live insects, using equipment most of us have?
I do a lot of ( non publicly funded ) macro work, including super-high resolution / zoomable images of ( non-deceased ) bugs, e.g. ( http://maps.muhlenberg.edu/iip2b/moth.html )
@Biowizzard, I understand exactly what you mean. My first interest as a boy was butterflies. But the pinning them to boards bit turned me off. It was not squeamishness, it was just that dead insects lack the beauty of live ones. My mission in life for a long time has been to replace needless collecting of dead insects, with vibrant photos.
Having a bit of a life sciences background myself I understand the importance of collecting. Type specimens, DNA etc. Yet the reality is that most dead collections aren't used like this. In fact more can often be learned from live photography.
So whilst I accept the biological approach of this methodology, as a resource, I don't see how it can inspire. To anyone familiar with insects, these bees most definitely look dead. It would be much better if they also started a collection of live photographrs running in parallel, and it was these shown to the world's media.
Brian, I appreciate and respect your sensibility (and I bet you could provide some great insight on more than a few subjects, photographic or otherwise, involving biology), but, although not appetizing or impressive to you, I figure there is more than plentiful space for bee shots, dead and alive.
And dead can be quite handsome, and if not, at least fascinating - thinking of photographers such as Joel Peter Witkin.
In many climes bees do not winter over, and the workers do not reproduce, so your comment is rather pompously hollow. With mammals and long-lived bivalves, ok. With bees the organism is the hive, not the individual, a concept which takes some thinking.
Need to have a set of moth images... there are some pretty ones!
Very dead insects! But beautifully captured!
Wonderful and Superb.
this is amazing!
technically and aesthetically wonderful photos. It is good that the general public gets to see the beauty and utility (pollen-covered bee in #1) of insects too often seen as hostile.
Nancy,Do you live in the western side of the US? Just wondering because the "killer" strain hasn't arrive on the east coast yet. It's the yellow jackets that are aggressive here.
I like The one numbered 12, Megachile fortis, Badlands National Park, South Dakota. Sort of looks like it is wearing aviator glasses. :)
Firstly, there's an error in the report and the pdf. The lens is in fact a 65mm lens, the Canon MP-E 65mm f2.8 1-5x lens.
I think this needs to be looked at from 2 different perspectives. Firstly this methodology is really for researchers who are not skilled photographers. Research and assay methods have always involved the collection of dead insects. So photographing them rather than mounting them on boards is a legitimate research tool, and resource.
However, from a photographic perspective the reporting of this story in the media around the world is somewhat misleading. There are quite a number of highly skilled photographers regularly producing big stacks of living insects, including bees. It would seem the media are simply unaware of them, although they have published their images.http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnhallmen/http://www.flickr.com/photos/opoterser/
thank you! i'm not a big fan of insects but those pics are great.
There are a lot of articles on macrophotography here by Erez Marom. This is one of them (and I think all of creatures are still alive): http://www.dpreview.com/articles/5717972844/focus-stacking-in-macro-photography
It warms my heart that so many Macro shooters don't like seeing "dead Insect" shots. They are well photographed, but with them being dead, and in conjunction with stacking software, they should be. I prefer live shots to fully appreciate the effort that went into the capture. I appreciate that DP Review had an article on Macro, but I hope they will show "live" shots as they have previously.
There are numerous examples of multiple stacks of living insects, John Hallem for one takes amazing stacks of insects covered in dew or 'asleep', 50 or more shots is not unusual. It's a case if getting up early and catching them cold.These dead bee shots are ok but you can't beat natural light.
Do you have a link to the John Hallem bee photographs you mention please? I 've been searching and can't locate it. Thanks.
"Do you have a link to the John Hallem bee photographs you mention please?"
His name is John Hallmen, which is probably why you couldn't find it. I can provide specific links to his bee photos if you want, but you should be able to find them on his photostream.http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnhallmen/
DPREVIEW, thanks much for the interesting insight in yet another macro world. Beautiful images of yet more beautiful creatures, sadly dead. Maybe in a foreseeable future , new technologies such as the Lytro camera will allow in-camera stacking of shots to create a whole focused photo of a living insect or other small creatures or plants.- one little remark: please correct your "maco" lens to macro lens.Best regards Babalu
If anyone is interested, a webinar was posted on youtube detailing the insect stacking technique and the equipment involved:http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=4c15neFttoU
It is very much worth watching.
The beauty of dead bees! :(
"Check out a sample of his work in our gallery. See more on his Flickr photostream."
how many of them are alive?
No. 12 is a curious one!
Are they dead?
Pushing up, instead of pollinating, daisies.
i hope they're not.
All the bees are dead. Sadly, with present technology, it is impossible to take multiple stacks of living insects. The best I have done is a stack of four images on mosquito larvae.
I rather prefer photos of living creatures. I am not an environment activist, but with the thought that these are photos from dead animals, i have a slight shiver. Take photos from living animals is possible, it costs more time and more efforts, but, especially with nowadays technology, it can be done. Have a look at my album, i have two photos of bees, not in the detail as this here, but at last, the bees are still alive...
"All the bees are dead. Sadly, with present technology, it is impossible to take multiple stacks of living insects."
Whilst I agree with you that it's impossible to do big stacks of moving insects. It's certainly not impossible to make multiple stacks of living insects. You just have to look at the work John Hallmen and Thomas Shahan, to know that the regular stacking of live insect shots is possible.http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnhallmen/http://www.flickr.com/photos/opoterser/
Having said all that I agree a large project to collate images of bees would be much harder with live stacking. The point being though, that live stacking is possible. I took this spider shot 4 1/2 years ago.http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3429/3913186569_089220b715_o.jpg
I even took a 2 shot stack of a hoverfly in flight a few years ago. Although I did have to clone out the extra set of wings.http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3299/3498856262_99ab567c92_o.jpg
Hi SteB, thanks for the links and there are some great shots there. However, when compiling photographs for taxonomic records, on many occassions there simply will not be the opportunity to capture the beast in the wild, particularly for uncommon species. Thus it is often necessary to shoot dead specimens or obtain a single shot of the living (I am compiling a photgraphic record of Australian mosquitoes and so appreciate the difficulties the researchers face).
Also, you will see in the bee shots from the web sites you listed is that the bees were captured early morning when it is cold and the insects are covered in dew. Where I live in Sydney, Australia, this does not happen; the insects are immediately active upon sunrise as it is so warm, and bees being so active, stacked shots are out of the question.
A better title for this article would be: "The beauty of dead bees". (If compared to photos of living bees, the difference is visible)
Yes I appreciated that for scientific and technical purposes this is the right approach, and acknowledged it in my main comment. I've got a bit of a life sciences background myself in ecology so I'm familiar with collection and survey methodology. Also I appreciated that the methodology was primarily developed to be used by people that are first scientists and not necessarily experienced photographers.
I also appreciate the point about the dew.
However I still think that photographs of live bees would be a great adjunct to projects like this. In other words the background survey would used this methodology, but it would be supplemented where possible by live photos.
I've thought about his in depth as it is one of my big interests. I think the work around would be far more collaboration between expert macro photographers and researchers. Each utilizing the other's skill sets. With the pollinator declines I think it is essential to connect with the public.
Yes, these are nice for documentation and science purposes. But I'm a nature photographer who doesn't appreciate shooting dead animals in a studio.