17 April 2006

Flight of the carpenter bee – Part 2

Photographing hovering carpenter bees turned into an obsession over the weekend. A friend who read the previous post suggested using a flash to create more static images of their rapidly beating wings and also switching to manual focus.

While implementing his suggestions, I took about 80 pictures of flying bees throughout yesterday. The pictures below are two of the best. Using a flash was indeed a more effective way to freeze the motion of the bees' wings.

Also, focusing manually wasn't as difficult as I had initially assumed it would be. Once I got used to the bees' routines, I could follow them thru the viewfinder, while changing the focus quickly.

For the technically oriented: Pictures were taken with an Olympus E-500 camera with a Zuiko 35 mm macro lens. The camera was hand held at all times. To take the previous set of photos at high shutter speeds, I had to set the sensitivity at ISO 500 or higher on a sunny morning. This, however, increased the noise. Furthermore, despite the high sensitivity, the pictures were still mostly underexposed. Another advantage of using a flash was that I could lower the sensitivity to ISO 250 and thereby decreasing the noise. The resulting photos were also better exposed.


the Robot Vegetable said...

Very cool.

Katie said...

LOVE the pics! Will be getting my own macro lens soon--can't wait!