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More Mason Bees

 
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Dalantech



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 506

PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 6:37 am    Post subject: More Mason Bees Reply with quote

With the lock down here in Italy I was hoping to get in some back yard macro, but the weather turned to rain so I processed a few images from earlier in the year.

I raise Mason Bees (Reds and Blues) and was fortunate enough to have the time to shoot a few as they emerged. After months of laying dormant this Blue Mason Bee chews its way out of its cocoon.

Tech Specs: Canon 80D (F11, 1/250, ISO 100) + a Canon MP-E 65mm macro lens (Almost 3x) + a diffused MT-26EX RT (E-TTL metering with -1/3 FEC). This is a single, uncropped, frame taken hand held. In post I used Topaz Sharpen AI, Denoise AI, and Clarity in that order.

Emerging Blue Mason Bee X by John Kimbler, on Flickr

I caught this little guy on a Sourgrass flower on a cool day that was partly cloudy and its metabolism tanked.

Tech Specs: Canon 80D (F11, 1/250, ISO 100) + a Canon MP-E 65mm macro lens (around 3x) + a diffused MT-26EX RT (E-TTL metering with -1/3 FEC). This is a single, uncropped, frame taken hand held. In post I used Topaz Sharpen AI, Denoise AI, and Clarity in that order.

Red Mason Bee III by John Kimbler, on Flickr

He gave me time to recompose:
Red Mason Bee IV by John Kimbler, on Flickr

I focused on the bee's mandibles and with the focus locked there I twisted the camera in my hand to lay the area of acceptable focus over its face. So the depth is due to a "magic angle" that makes the most of the thin area of focus that exists in a single frame at F11. Made easier by the fact that I'm holding on to the flower's stem with my left hand, and resting the lens on that same hand so that both camera and subject are on the same "platform". Nothing special, barring some physical limitation anyone can do it. Just takes practice. One advantage to shooting this way over focus stacking is that I can shoot semi active to hyperactive subjects. The downside is that diffraction is gonna take my lunch money. But even diffraction is controlled to a degree because I'm taking a lot of control over the motion in the scene, and the flash is closer to the subject than the lens to keep the duration of the flash, my "shutter speed", to a minimum. Motion is actually a bigger problem than diffraction, and the quality and angle of the light can rob an image of more detail.

Final note about that Sourgrass: Those flowers have an odd greenish tint to them, so the color you see here is pretty much dead on.
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MarkSturtevant



Joined: 21 Nov 2015
Posts: 784
Location: Michigan, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 6:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very good pictures. I like your technique very much.
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Mark Sturtevant
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Dalantech



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 506

PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MarkSturtevant wrote:
Very good pictures. I like your technique very much.


Thanks!
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