Donald Dunn  

Bee Balm by Donald Dunn

May 2021 - Bee Balm

May 2021 - Donald Dunn


About the Image(s)

Bee Balm (Monarda) is a wildflower that serves as a food source, via nectar, for the rare Diana Fritillary butterfly. We are fortunate to have a significant area of these plants (and butterflies) in west central Arkansas. The bloom has just begun, and the Diana Fritillary will not be far behind. Pertinent information follows:

Date photo made: April 29, 2021
Location: Middle Fork Barrens Natural Area, Saline County, Arkansas

Camera: Canon 5d Mark iii, monopod assisted
Lens: Canon EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM +1.4X
Lens length: 560 mm
Shutter speed: 1/1500
Apperture: f/8
ISO: 1600

Post Processing: Lightroom
Slightly cropped, minor development adjustments, clarity and texture increased

5 comments posted

Peter Dominowski   Peter Dominowski
Beautiful texture and detail, especially in the middle of the flower! Very low noise for a pic shot at ISO 1600.

Until I read your description, I would have assumed that this was photographed with a macro lens; amazing what we can sometimes do with a long lens.

Difficult for me to tell on my monitor, but some of the white parts of the flower would have benefited from additional depth of field.

  Posted: 05/05/2021 16:36:55

Judy Haran   Judy Haran
This makes me want to come to Arkansas, where I have never been. I like the angle you shot this with, instead of profile. I would like to see it a bit sharper in the middle. This would be a good flower to try a photo stacking technique to see how much you could get in focus. Disclaimer: I have never done it myself, but am going to try and learn soon!   Posted: 05/06/2021 12:32:30

Sherry Icardi   Sherry Icardi
This reminds me some of the Swamp Lilies here in Florida, but not exact. They grow wild in many of the spots I frequent. I do love using a long lens for close ups on wetland flowers around here. When the birds are not out and about, I focus on small things like butterflies, skimmers, flowers, and bugs! It is amazing all the variety if we just take a moment to look.

I love the detail in the center of the plant but the offshoots sticking out are blurred a bit, and agree focus stacking might be an avenue to pursue (but like her,I've not tried it). I would start on a landscape first before I tried something as difficult as this. It is certainly a great deal of work and I'm not sure if the Canon will do it automatically in camera. I am pretty sure Nikon does, so likely Canon would as well. I I think the problem is focal plane rather than depth of field, I've found if things are not on the same focal plane you just can't get them sharp. And you have other elements above and below that are clear and sharp.

Still all in all a lovely photo!

  Posted: 05/06/2021 13:49:20

Christine Walas   Christine Walas
This is a very pretty flower.
I like the colors.

Personally, I like would more
definition in the white petals.

Did you spot meter on the white petals?

  Posted: 05/06/2021 16:28:04

Sarita Yeola   Sarita Yeola
Beautiful flower! It is amazing what we can see of a flower through a camera lens. The white flower really stands out in the nice blurry background. Very nice!
Lately I have been taking pictures of wild flowers around me, from the tiniest to largest. I tried photostacking technique on flowers brought from the store by taking atleast 5-10 images of single flower and stacking them in photoshop. It was a lot of fun. I have not tried it in the wild as I don't carry a tripod with me on my walks.   Posted: 05/07/2021 13:00:54


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