Nice hair!

Started 3 months ago | Discussions
Gary from Seattle Veteran Member • Posts: 5,892
Nice hair!
2

I've been spending a few hours quite a few days shooting bees at a local Seattle Park where there has been an effort to plant mostly native wildflowers. It leaves me with a lot of work processing simply and sorting images - as well as being able to name many of the various bees.

I am shooting with the Olympus EM-1X and 60 macro (120). To my surprise, wild bees for the most part tolerate my presence if I come in from the side and am reasonably stationary. I can get within 4-12" most often. Occasionally some bees will get upset and fly around me and then move to a different area. The flowers are/have been Lupine, Sidalcea, Cirsium, Lotus, Grindelia, Holodiscus, Chicorum, Tanacetum, Solidago, and Penstemon - so widely varied textures and colors.

I just position myself in good locations and wait for the action - which might appear in any direction. The shooting is extremely challenging and keepers are relatively few because the bees move very quickly, I am undoubtedly moving slightly, and the flowers also sway with wind. It is essentially impossible to obtain focus when the wind is moving the flowers much. I've learned a few things, like anticipating what a bee might do, but I guess wrong as often as I guess right. The DOF is often just 2-3 mm. Often by the time I target a bee it has moved by the time I can push the shutter. Manual focus would be futile with the changing focus distance and shallow DOF. But it is super fun not only getting some good results but also observing some pretty amazing behavior. I was watching one small bee gathering nectar from a cup shaped aster - Grindelia. And as the bee gathered the nectar it would stem all six legs off opposite sides of the corolla as a rock climber might stem on a rockclimb in a corner.

I just love the hair colors

I just missed this one, but I still like the image.

 Gary from Seattle's gear list:Gary from Seattle's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Olympus E-M1 II Olympus OM-D E-M1X Olympus Zuiko Digital 1.4x Teleconverter EC-14 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7 +5 more
gardenersassistant Veteran Member • Posts: 8,962
Re: Nice hair!

It's certainly challenging with subjects that don't stay long in one place, the more so when a breeze is moving the plants around, so well done capturing those images.

Gary from Seattle wrote:

Manual focus would be futile with the changing focus distance and shallow DOF.

I used autofocus for over a decade and never really got on with manual focus on the few occasions when I tried it. But then I moved to a manual focus only setup. To my surprise it has turned out that manual focus is giving me better focusing success than I got with autofocus, including some quite small subjects (2mm or so long) as they are moving around or what they are on is moving in the breeze, or sometimes both. I think it is focus peaking that is making the difference.

John K Veteran Member • Posts: 9,249
Re: Nice hair!

Gary from Seattle wrote:

..To my surprise, wild bees for the most part tolerate my presence if I come in from the side and am reasonably stationary. I can get within 4-12" most often. Occasionally some bees will get upset and fly around me and then move to a different area.

I like that frame -really nice!

It's your knowledge of the critters habits and quirks, and their willingness to let you get close, that will determine if you get the shot. I do all of my insect macro with lenses in the 60mm range and they are all alive.

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Also known as Dalantech
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OP Gary from Seattle Veteran Member • Posts: 5,892
Re: Nice hair!

gardenersassistant wrote:

It's certainly challenging with subjects that don't stay long in one place, the more so when a breeze is moving the plants around, so well done capturing those images.

Thanks; it takes a lot of patience and luck because of DOF and the necessary difficulty of targeting.

Gary from Seattle wrote:

Manual focus would be futile with the changing focus distance and shallow DOF.

I used autofocus for over a decade and never really got on with manual focus on the few occasions when I tried it. But then I moved to a manual focus only setup. To my surprise it has turned out that manual focus is giving me better focusing success than I got with autofocus, including some quite small subjects (2mm or so long) as they are moving around or what they are on is moving in the breeze, or sometimes both. I think it is focus peaking that is making the difference.

I use focus peaking and manual focus on plants, vascular, and bryophytes; but with bees I don't think this would work for me shooting at F8 on m4/3. The DOF at around 8" is supposed to be 2mm. Often, I will target the bee, press to get AF (very fast) but as I go to full press of the shutter, the bee has moved and I don't even shoot. I think BBF could help here, increasing the odds of a lucky shot.

As I said in the post above, I think the key for me is anticipating what the bee is likely to do so I can get a good composition, but the bee doesn't always/often do what I want. I target way more often than I shoot. When I shoot, I then shoot a short burst of 2-3 frames. Sometimes one of those frames is lucky.

But this whole thing is a whale of a lot of fun and looking through the EVF, I get to watch some fascinating and sometimes quite funny behavior. It might be, if done right, that some short video clips would be very entertaining.

 Gary from Seattle's gear list:Gary from Seattle's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Olympus E-M1 II Olympus OM-D E-M1X Olympus Zuiko Digital 1.4x Teleconverter EC-14 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7 +5 more
OP Gary from Seattle Veteran Member • Posts: 5,892
Re: Nice hair!

John K wrote:

Gary from Seattle wrote:

..To my surprise, wild bees for the most part tolerate my presence if I come in from the side and am reasonably stationary. I can get within 4-12" most often. Occasionally some bees will get upset and fly around me and then move to a different area.

I like that frame -really nice!

Thanks, John. I had seen this possibility the day before in a failed shot. The translucence of the light-colored Solidago gives good light transmission. But I need the luck of the bee doing something worthwhile to shoot, and for the bee to remain (mostly) in shade so that highlights are not a significant problem. Asters also work for translucent, backlit shots.

It's your knowledge of the critters habits and quirks, and their willingness to let you get close, that will determine if you get the shot. I do all of my insect macro with lenses in the 60mm range and they are all alive.

I am in the process of learning about what bees "are likely to do". They are magnificent little creatures.

 Gary from Seattle's gear list:Gary from Seattle's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Olympus E-M1 II Olympus OM-D E-M1X Olympus Zuiko Digital 1.4x Teleconverter EC-14 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7 +5 more
gardenersassistant Veteran Member • Posts: 8,962
Re: Nice hair!

Gary from Seattle wrote:

gardenersassistant wrote:

It's certainly challenging with subjects that don't stay long in one place, the more so when a breeze is moving the plants around, so well done capturing those images.

Thanks; it takes a lot of patience and luck because of DOF and the necessary difficulty of targeting.

Gary from Seattle wrote:

Manual focus would be futile with the changing focus distance and shallow DOF.

I used autofocus for over a decade and never really got on with manual focus on the few occasions when I tried it. But then I moved to a manual focus only setup. To my surprise it has turned out that manual focus is giving me better focusing success than I got with autofocus, including some quite small subjects (2mm or so long) as they are moving around or what they are on is moving in the breeze, or sometimes both. I think it is focus peaking that is making the difference.

I use focus peaking and manual focus on plants, vascular, and bryophytes; but with bees I don't think this would work for me shooting at F8 on m4/3. The DOF at around 8" is supposed to be 2mm. Often, I will target the bee, press to get AF (very fast) but as I go to full press of the shutter, the bee has moved and I don't even shoot. I think BBF could help here, increasing the odds of a lucky shot.

I am finding that timing is key. This is with manual focus. My hands shake and especially at higher magnifications the subject is continually going in and out of focus, as I can see from the focus peaking (most of the time - sometimes there is no focus peaking signal at all, and most of the rest of the time the signal is very weak).

I have been practicing and practicing with the shutter button held half pressed (so there is the minimum time needed to activate the shutter), and getting a "feel" for how the random element of the in and out of focus is going, and often also deliberately moving the camera back and forth around the focus point which can give more predictability to the timing of in and out of focus. I'm practicing the timing of the shots to coincide with an instant that the focus peaking signal is showing. I obviously still get a lot of failures, the more so as subject size decreases and subject motion increases, but with continuing practice I'm finding that my success rate is improving, and is I think already significantly better than I was getting with autofocus.

As I said in the post above, I think the key for me is anticipating what the bee is likely to do so I can get a good composition, but the bee doesn't always/often do what I want. I target way more often than I shoot. When I shoot, I then shoot a short burst of 2-3 frames. Sometimes one of those frames is lucky.

But this whole thing is a whale of a lot of fun and looking through the EVF, I get to watch some fascinating and sometimes quite funny behavior. It might be, if done right, that some short video clips would be very entertaining.

OP Gary from Seattle Veteran Member • Posts: 5,892
Re: Nice hair!

gardenersassistant wrote:

Gary from Seattle wrote:

gardenersassistant wrote:

It's certainly challenging with subjects that don't stay long in one place, the more so when a breeze is moving the plants around, so well done capturing those images.

Thanks; it takes a lot of patience and luck because of DOF and the necessary difficulty of targeting.

Gary from Seattle wrote:

Manual focus would be futile with the changing focus distance and shallow DOF.

I used autofocus for over a decade and never really got on with manual focus on the few occasions when I tried it. But then I moved to a manual focus only setup. To my surprise it has turned out that manual focus is giving me better focusing success than I got with autofocus, including some quite small subjects (2mm or so long) as they are moving around or what they are on is moving in the breeze, or sometimes both. I think it is focus peaking that is making the difference.

I use focus peaking and manual focus on plants, vascular, and bryophytes; but with bees I don't think this would work for me shooting at F8 on m4/3. The DOF at around 8" is supposed to be 2mm. Often, I will target the bee, press to get AF (very fast) but as I go to full press of the shutter, the bee has moved and I don't even shoot. I think BBF could help here, increasing the odds of a lucky shot.

I am finding that timing is key. This is with manual focus. My hands shake and especially at higher magnifications the subject is continually going in and out of focus, as I can see from the focus peaking (most of the time - sometimes there is no focus peaking signal at all, and most of the rest of the time the signal is very weak).

I have been practicing and practicing with the shutter button held half pressed (so there is the minimum time needed to activate the shutter), and getting a "feel" for how the random element of the in and out of focus is going, and often also deliberately moving the camera back and forth around the focus point which can give more predictability to the timing of in and out of focus. I'm practicing the timing of the shots to coincide with an instant that the focus peaking signal is showing. I obviously still get a lot of failures, the more so as subject size decreases and subject motion increases, but with continuing practice I'm finding that my success rate is improving, and is I think already significantly better than I was getting with autofocus.

Well, that is interesting and similar to what I do with plants. I think, if you are able to do this that you would be slightly quicker than acquiring AF. But, I'd suppose, that basically you would have to specify a focusing distance and then adjust to get that distance. There is so little time to shoot before a bee (in warm temperatures) moves. I'l try that. I would not ordinarily be able to adjust MF - just move slightly to try to obtain the shot. I think about 8" is about it as far as close focusing - at least for me. Certain bees - Colletes - are less tolerant of close approach. They clearly see me.

As I said in the post above, I think the key for me is anticipating what the bee is likely to do so I can get a good composition, but the bee doesn't always/often do what I want. I target way more often than I shoot. When I shoot, I then shoot a short burst of 2-3 frames. Sometimes one of those frames is lucky.

But this whole thing is a whale of a lot of fun and looking through the EVF, I get to watch some fascinating and sometimes quite funny behavior. It might be, if done right, that some short video clips would be very entertaining.

 Gary from Seattle's gear list:Gary from Seattle's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Olympus E-M1 II Olympus OM-D E-M1X Olympus Zuiko Digital 1.4x Teleconverter EC-14 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7 +5 more
macrouser
macrouser Senior Member • Posts: 2,683
Re: Nice hair!

I love shooting insects.  There is a vast number of bee species in Australia.  Each has it's own habits.

If you count converters, I have five focus lengths to chose from.  Each has it's benefits.  I have 50, 90, 150,  210, and 300 mm macro lenses.  The 300, 150 + 2X converter, is manual focus only but gives me lots of working distance and will give me up to 2:1 magnification.  I can get more with a close up lens on the front of the lens or extension tubes.

There are times that focus peeking can help but other times it is in the way.  Focus magnification is better for very small objects that I am very close to.  I also use focus magnification to find insects that I could not see with my eyes.

With manual focus, moving the camera for focus can be very useful.  You can do it with a tripod if you place the tripod with two legs at right angle to the subject.

Bees in flight are easier with a longer lens.  I am using Sony cameras so I find that zone or wide focus area is faster if the bee is well separated from other objects.  A focus limiter so the camera does not pick up the distant background is a major help.

It all depends on the subject what kind of method I have to use.  I am old and shaky so am always looking for ways to hold still enough.

 macrouser's gear list:macrouser's gear list
Sony SLT-A77 Sony a7R III Sigma 150mm F2.8 EX DG Macro HSM Sony FE 90mm F2.8 macro Sony FE 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G OSS +2 more
gardenersassistant Veteran Member • Posts: 8,962
Re: Nice hair!

Gary from Seattle wrote:

gardenersassistant wrote:

Gary from Seattle wrote:

gardenersassistant wrote:

It's certainly challenging with subjects that don't stay long in one place, the more so when a breeze is moving the plants around, so well done capturing those images.

Thanks; it takes a lot of patience and luck because of DOF and the necessary difficulty of targeting.

Gary from Seattle wrote:

Manual focus would be futile with the changing focus distance and shallow DOF.

I used autofocus for over a decade and never really got on with manual focus on the few occasions when I tried it. But then I moved to a manual focus only setup. To my surprise it has turned out that manual focus is giving me better focusing success than I got with autofocus, including some quite small subjects (2mm or so long) as they are moving around or what they are on is moving in the breeze, or sometimes both. I think it is focus peaking that is making the difference.

I use focus peaking and manual focus on plants, vascular, and bryophytes; but with bees I don't think this would work for me shooting at F8 on m4/3. The DOF at around 8" is supposed to be 2mm. Often, I will target the bee, press to get AF (very fast) but as I go to full press of the shutter, the bee has moved and I don't even shoot. I think BBF could help here, increasing the odds of a lucky shot.

I am finding that timing is key. This is with manual focus. My hands shake and especially at higher magnifications the subject is continually going in and out of focus, as I can see from the focus peaking (most of the time - sometimes there is no focus peaking signal at all, and most of the rest of the time the signal is very weak).

I have been practicing and practicing with the shutter button held half pressed (so there is the minimum time needed to activate the shutter), and getting a "feel" for how the random element of the in and out of focus is going, and often also deliberately moving the camera back and forth around the focus point which can give more predictability to the timing of in and out of focus. I'm practicing the timing of the shots to coincide with an instant that the focus peaking signal is showing. I obviously still get a lot of failures, the more so as subject size decreases and subject motion increases, but with continuing practice I'm finding that my success rate is improving, and is I think already significantly better than I was getting with autofocus.

Well, that is interesting and similar to what I do with plants. I think, if you are able to do this that you would be slightly quicker than acquiring AF.

It feels that way. It probably depends on the camera and the type of AF, but with my systems focus acquisition time can be variable. And with anything other than an almost instant response there is time enough for my hand movement to have taken the camera away from the focus it has set. This is especially the case as I get towards 8:1, which is a 4.5mm x 3mm scene, and the subject bobs around a huge amount in (sometimes out of) the frame. Couple the hand movement with a subject that is moving around and/or is on something that is moving around in the breeze, and it gets .... interesting.

But, I'd suppose, that basically you would have to specify a focusing distance and then adjust to get that distance.

I think of it as adjusting the framing/magnification and then adjust to get the focus.

There is so little time to shoot before a bee (in warm temperatures) moves. I'l try that. I would not ordinarily be able to adjust MF - just move slightly to try to obtain the shot.

Yes, that is what I do. Another thing I do sometimes is to adjust the focus very slightly back and forth to go in and out of focus. I find this too can help with predictability of the in-focus instant. I'm not sure under what circumstance I use camera motion back and forth and what circumstances for focus ring back and forth. Perhaps it is just ... I don't know, intuitive? random?  I just find myself doing one or the other, without thinking about it. Anyway, it works quite nicely sometimes.

I think about 8" is about it as far as close focusing - at least for me. Certain bees - Colletes - are less tolerant of close approach. They clearly see me.

As I said in the post above, I think the key for me is anticipating what the bee is likely to do so I can get a good composition, but the bee doesn't always/often do what I want. I target way more often than I shoot. When I shoot, I then shoot a short burst of 2-3 frames. Sometimes one of those frames is lucky.

But this whole thing is a whale of a lot of fun and looking through the EVF, I get to watch some fascinating and sometimes quite funny behavior. It might be, if done right, that some short video clips would be very entertaining.

richj20 Veteran Member • Posts: 8,757
Re: Nice hair!

Nice hair indeed, Gary! A wonderful angle for displaying them.

I just love the hair colors

I do too! is this the western honeybee?

I use AF + MF . Often, AF alone suffices. Other times, keeping my finger half-pressed on the shutter, my left hand rotates the ring which activates MF + focus magnification. Then slightly moving to get precise focus.

- Richard

OP Gary from Seattle Veteran Member • Posts: 5,892
Re: Nice hair!

gardenersassistant wrote:

Gary from Seattle wrote:

gardenersassistant wrote:

Gary from Seattle wrote:

gardenersassistant wrote:

It's certainly challenging with subjects that don't stay long in one place, the more so when a breeze is moving the plants around, so well done capturing those images.

Thanks; it takes a lot of patience and luck because of DOF and the necessary difficulty of targeting.

Gary from Seattle wrote:

Manual focus would be futile with the changing focus distance and shallow DOF.

I used autofocus for over a decade and never really got on with manual focus on the few occasions when I tried it. But then I moved to a manual focus only setup. To my surprise it has turned out that manual focus is giving me better focusing success than I got with autofocus, including some quite small subjects (2mm or so long) as they are moving around or what they are on is moving in the breeze, or sometimes both. I think it is focus peaking that is making the difference.

I use focus peaking and manual focus on plants, vascular, and bryophytes; but with bees I don't think this would work for me shooting at F8 on m4/3. The DOF at around 8" is supposed to be 2mm. Often, I will target the bee, press to get AF (very fast) but as I go to full press of the shutter, the bee has moved and I don't even shoot. I think BBF could help here, increasing the odds of a lucky shot.

I am finding that timing is key. This is with manual focus. My hands shake and especially at higher magnifications the subject is continually going in and out of focus, as I can see from the focus peaking (most of the time - sometimes there is no focus peaking signal at all, and most of the rest of the time the signal is very weak).

I have been practicing and practicing with the shutter button held half pressed (so there is the minimum time needed to activate the shutter), and getting a "feel" for how the random element of the in and out of focus is going, and often also deliberately moving the camera back and forth around the focus point which can give more predictability to the timing of in and out of focus. I'm practicing the timing of the shots to coincide with an instant that the focus peaking signal is showing. I obviously still get a lot of failures, the more so as subject size decreases and subject motion increases, but with continuing practice I'm finding that my success rate is improving, and is I think already significantly better than I was getting with autofocus.

Well, that is interesting and similar to what I do with plants. I think, if you are able to do this that you would be slightly quicker than acquiring AF.

It feels that way. It probably depends on the camera and the type of AF, but with my systems focus acquisition time can be variable. And with anything other than an almost instant response there is time enough for my hand movement to have taken the camera away from the focus it has set. This is especially the case as I get towards 8:1, which is a 4.5mm x 3mm scene, and the subject bobs around a huge amount in (sometimes out of) the frame. Couple the hand movement with a subject that is moving around and/or is on something that is moving around in the breeze, and it gets .... interesting.

But, I'd suppose, that basically you would have to specify a focusing distance and then adjust to get that distance.

I think of it as adjusting the framing/magnification and then adjust to get the focus.

There is so little time to shoot before a bee (in warm temperatures) moves. I'l try that. I would not ordinarily be able to adjust MF - just move slightly to try to obtain the shot.

Yes, that is what I do. Another thing I do sometimes is to adjust the focus very slightly back and forth to go in and out of focus. I find this too can help with predictability of the in-focus instant. I'm not sure under what circumstance I use camera motion back and forth and what circumstances for focus ring back and forth. Perhaps it is just ... I don't know, intuitive? random? I just find myself doing one or the other, without thinking about it. Anyway, it works quite nicely sometimes.

I think, too, that if the camera is free (in hand) and especially for creatures which are mobile on a potentially moving substrate, what one is really doing is focus bracketing as one shoots. When I shoot single frame handheld bryophytes I look at it that way. Even with a relatively low SS if I shoot 4-5 shots - these with MF and Focus Peaking - that one or two will come out.

I think about 8" is about it as far as close focusing - at least for me. Certain bees - Colletes - are less tolerant of close approach. They clearly see me.

As I said in the post above, I think the key for me is anticipating what the bee is likely to do so I can get a good composition, but the bee doesn't always/often do what I want. I target way more often than I shoot. When I shoot, I then shoot a short burst of 2-3 frames. Sometimes one of those frames is lucky.

But this whole thing is a whale of a lot of fun and looking through the EVF, I get to watch some fascinating and sometimes quite funny behavior. It might be, if done right, that some short video clips would be very entertaining.

 Gary from Seattle's gear list:Gary from Seattle's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Olympus E-M1 II Olympus OM-D E-M1X Olympus Zuiko Digital 1.4x Teleconverter EC-14 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7 +5 more
OP Gary from Seattle Veteran Member • Posts: 5,892
Re: Nice hair!

richj20 wrote:

Nice hair indeed, Gary! A wonderful angle for displaying them.

Thank you. I've been shooting between 4 and 6 pm, with shots before 4 a bit harsh and by 6 or so there is more shade and also the bees become less frequent.

I just love the hair colors

I do too! is this the western honeybee?

This is the yellow headed Bumblebee and it is a male. They have extravagant hair colors and around here are pretty large as bees go. The male is quite differently colored than females.

I use AF + MF . Often, AF alone suffices. Other times, keeping my finger half-pressed on the shutter, my left hand rotates the ring which activates MF + focus magnification. Then slightly moving to get precise focus.

- Richard

 Gary from Seattle's gear list:Gary from Seattle's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Olympus E-M1 II Olympus OM-D E-M1X Olympus Zuiko Digital 1.4x Teleconverter EC-14 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7 +5 more
Simon F74
Simon F74 New Member • Posts: 4
Re: Nice hair!

Gary from Seattle wrote:

I've been spending a few hours quite a few days shooting bees at a local Seattle Park where there has been an effort to plant mostly native wildflowers. It leaves me with a lot of work processing simply and sorting images - as well as being able to name many of the various bees.

I am shooting with the Olympus EM-1X and 60 macro (120). To my surprise, wild bees for the most part tolerate my presence if I come in from the side and am reasonably stationary. I can get within 4-12" most often. Occasionally some bees will get upset and fly around me and then move to a different area. The flowers are/have been Lupine, Sidalcea, Cirsium, Lotus, Grindelia, Holodiscus, Chicorum, Tanacetum, Solidago, and Penstemon - so widely varied textures and colors.

I just position myself in good locations and wait for the action - which might appear in any direction. The shooting is extremely challenging and keepers are relatively few because the bees move very quickly, I am undoubtedly moving slightly, and the flowers also sway with wind. It is essentially impossible to obtain focus when the wind is moving the flowers much. I've learned a few things, like anticipating what a bee might do, but I guess wrong as often as I guess right. The DOF is often just 2-3 mm. Often by the time I target a bee it has moved by the time I can push the shutter. Manual focus would be futile with the changing focus distance and shallow DOF. But it is super fun not only getting some good results but also observing some pretty amazing behavior. I was watching one small bee gathering nectar from a cup shaped aster - Grindelia. And as the bee gathered the nectar it would stem all six legs off opposite sides of the corolla as a rock climber might stem on a rockclimb in a corner.

I just love the hair colors

I just missed this one, but I still like the image.

I really like the last photo, nice clarity.

 Simon F74's gear list:Simon F74's gear list
Nikon D3500 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM Art Nikon 35mm F1.8G ED +2 more
OP Gary from Seattle Veteran Member • Posts: 5,892
Re: Nice hair!

Simon F74 wrote:

Gary from Seattle wrote:

I've been spending a few hours quite a few days shooting bees at a local Seattle Park where there has been an effort to plant mostly native wildflowers. It leaves me with a lot of work processing simply and sorting images - as well as being able to name many of the various bees.

I am shooting with the Olympus EM-1X and 60 macro (120). To my surprise, wild bees for the most part tolerate my presence if I come in from the side and am reasonably stationary. I can get within 4-12" most often. Occasionally some bees will get upset and fly around me and then move to a different area. The flowers are/have been Lupine, Sidalcea, Cirsium, Lotus, Grindelia, Holodiscus, Chicorum, Tanacetum, Solidago, and Penstemon - so widely varied textures and colors.

I just position myself in good locations and wait for the action - which might appear in any direction. The shooting is extremely challenging and keepers are relatively few because the bees move very quickly, I am undoubtedly moving slightly, and the flowers also sway with wind. It is essentially impossible to obtain focus when the wind is moving the flowers much. I've learned a few things, like anticipating what a bee might do, but I guess wrong as often as I guess right. The DOF is often just 2-3 mm. Often by the time I target a bee it has moved by the time I can push the shutter. Manual focus would be futile with the changing focus distance and shallow DOF. But it is super fun not only getting some good results but also observing some pretty amazing behavior. I was watching one small bee gathering nectar from a cup shaped aster - Grindelia. And as the bee gathered the nectar it would stem all six legs off opposite sides of the corolla as a rock climber might stem on a rockclimb in a corner.

I just love the hair colors

I just missed this one, but I still like the image.

I really like the last photo, nice clarity.

Thanks, it was from the benefit of very nice, late sun.

 Gary from Seattle's gear list:Gary from Seattle's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Olympus E-M1 II Olympus OM-D E-M1X Olympus Zuiko Digital 1.4x Teleconverter EC-14 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7 +5 more
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