Bob Benson, FPSA, EPSA  

Bumblebee by Bob Benson, FPSA, EPSA

September 2020 - Bumblebee

September 2020 - Bob Benson, FPSA, EPSA


About the Image(s)

Recent photo opportunities have been severely limited, and I still look around the yard for pics. Since I cannot travel, GAS over took me (and I really needed to update my camera anyway). This is testing out a feature in my new mirrorless Canon R5, which is focus stacking. Other images I have of this subject are singles, as it never stayed put for more than a moment. But I realized he must have hit the mother load, and was set for a short while. I took that moment, and tried out the new auto stacking feature. This was shot at f8 with 12 segments. I then ran adjustments in Lightroom on the synced images before exporting to Helicon Focus. I was kind of surprised that the flowers behind the bee were still out of focus, even though I don’t think that bothers me. You set the front focus, and the camera does the rest. So I will have to look at the focus increment setting. In PS, I added some curves adjustment, and removed out of focus area in the background that was distracting.
Canon R5, 100 mm macro at f8, 1/80 sec at ISO 2500 on tripod

6 comments posted

Jose Cartas   Jose Cartas
I never tried focus stacking, and it's not in my immediate plans. However, the result you achieved is impressive. Everything that needs to be sharp is sharp, and the background is totally out-of-focus. You got the right mix of colors between the flowers (red/yellow) and the background (green). The only thing that bothers me is the dark border on the right, with a too sharp leaf at the bottom, which is not visible in the original. I also think that you have too much space on the left and would crop part of it, even if the bee becomes more centered.   Posted: 09/07/2020 19:16:56
Bob Benson   Bob Benson
My wife told me to get rid of that leaf too ;-)
I also toned down the colors in that corner. I debated the cropping before on this, but also I am not sure if I wanted the bee to end up dead center, rather than off center. I did take a little off on the left side in this version.   Posted: 09/08/2020 14:00:53
Comment Image

Tony Au Yeong   Tony Au Yeong
I think the focus stacking have done a good job. As the camera needs to take a number of photos to accomplish the focus stacking, it is amazing that the bee looks sharp with no motion blur. The colors are pleasing and I agree that removing the leaf at the right lower corner improves the image. A beautiful macro photo.   Posted: 09/10/2020 05:45:28

Mervyn Hurwitz   Mervyn Hurwitz
Well done for getting so close to your subject. Our modern technology is amazing as you have shown us in this perfectly sharp picture. The out of focus petals in the background don't bother me. I agree that the leaf on bottom right is a distraction, but I see you have now removed it.
BTW does PSA nature rules accept focus stacking? I don't see why they should not.   Posted: 09/10/2020 08:53:22
Bob Benson   Bob Benson
Thanks. Yes Nature does allow focus stacking, but not pano photo stitching, interestingly. Unfortunately, this does not work for Nature due to clones (which are on separate layers and could be taken out), but flower is hybrid. Now if I could only get a bee like this on a wildflower......   Posted: 09/10/2020 12:52:41

Belinda Hudnall Keller   Belinda Hudnall Keller
If this is a first mirrorless for you, I think you will love it. It's a great shot, and I would only remove the leaf at bottom right and crop the left. The out of focus flowers behind the bee are OK to me. A tip: with a toothpick, you can place a tiny drop of sugar water on a flower near the bee and they will stay longer. I've also found these bees lingering in one spot as they begin dying. They stay, holding on. You'd be disqualified from Nature for manipulating, but you could gently move the leaf or flower with the bee to where you prefer (they won't sting).   Posted: 09/12/2020 13:43:52


Please log in to post a comment