As I’ve mentioned many times, I’m trying to become a more ruthless editor. I got many well exposed, sharp images of bees in my backyard last week, but this one stood out as my favorite. I shared some of the others on Facebook, but I should not have done so. Others have said it: if you only show your best work, people come to believe you are a good photographer. So do you, and so you do. This will be my new editing mantra: There can be only one.
Tag Archives: Bee Photography
Lately I’ve been carrying too much gear everywhere, and as any experienced amateur will tell you, one shoots less when overburdened. Back in my film days, and early in my digital era, I found myself out and about with nothing but a 60mm f/2.8 Micro-Nikkor. It was my go-to walk-around lens, and I shot everything with it.
Right now, I don’t have a go-to walk-around lens. When I have an assignment, I bring lenses appropriate to the task. But I think that not having a walk-around lens, one that I know intimately and can see through before I raise the camera to my eye, is a problem. In fact, it may be the reason that I’m not walking around, making pictures.
So I have decided to select one, and I’m going to spend the next few weeks going on one-lens excursions to see what excites and inspires me when I’m feeling dull and uninspired.
First up, in honor of that old 60mm Micro-Nikkor, is my 105mm f/2.8 Micro-Nikkor. I roamed the backyard with it a couple of weekends ago, and this post includes some of the images, although not a good sampling of the lens’ versatility. I will make it my walk-around lens for the next couple of weeks and see what happens. After that, I think I’ll try the 35mm f/2.0. Dang, this is going to be fun…
Bad poets always return to “the sea,” and this struggling photographer always returns to the back yard. Grumpy as I’ve been over my recent images, I took advantage of some unstructured time on Thanksgiving morning to roam the yard with my 105 f/2.8 Micro-Nikkor. I got a couple of good images, and a reminder that macro photography has some basic but mostly inviolable rules, which we ignore at our images’ peril.
The best macro photographers know that super-close focusing distances require small apertures, but as a portrait photographer, I tend to use very big apertures. I thought that stopping down to f/5.6 would give me adequate depth of field, but as my friend Les Dublin reminded me this morning, f/16 is a much more sensible opening, and even then one will be dealing with very narrow depth of field. Serious macro shooters also tend to work with diffusers and/or flash to manage contrast ratios for more even subject lighting. So my shots from Thursday morning are more like sketches I can learn from.
The good news is that November is proving to be a bright and colorful month here in Ojai, so I’ll get to try again on Sunday. You can bet I’ll be shooting at f/16 and carrying a screen to diffuse the bright sunlight.