Friday, 17 September 2010
Bee still for a second...!
I was just messing round with high shutter speeds on the 50D when I shot these two shots. Except it wasn't two shots, it was more like fifty! The 50D only has nine focus points (compared to 51 on the equivalent Nikon digital SLRS) and the focussing tends to be more reliable when only the centre point is selected. Great for a landscape or if your subject is large in the viewfinder. Not so great when your subject is an inch long at best and flits from flower to flower seemingly at random, and at surprisingly high speed. The bees were collecting nectar (the sacs are just visible on one of the shots) and their work rate would put the South Koreans to shame (they have the longest and toughest working weeks in the industralised world apparently). Fortunately I had all the time in the world, being on holiday, and just sat with the camera on a monopod and waited and shot. After a while, I noticed some patterns in the way the bees flew, and realised that indeed they had "favourite" flowers that they visited, and their flights became more predictable.The hit rate for keepers improved. Wildlife photography is as much understanding the subject as technique or kit, probably more so. I had hoped to see something more suggestive of Scotland whilst on holiday, a golden eagle, a whale perhaps, even a stag. On this occasion my luck deserted me. But somehow I found the bees just as evocative and fascinating. I just don't like getting too close to them...!