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Thread: Mason Bees

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Naples, Italy
    Posts
    193

    Default Mason Bees

    My first attempts this year at shooting this species of Mason Bee (Osmia latreillei). I've set the images up as hyperlinks that will take you to my Deviant Art site when you click on them, and if you click on the images at my Deviant Art site they will expand to 1600 pixels wide.

    I was about a meter away from the female when the male tackled her. I had been watching him chase off other males from a group of dandelions that he had staked out as his territory and got lucky when the female landed on one of his flowers. Tech specs: Canon 40D (F13, 1/250, ISO 100) + a Canon MPE-65mm macro lens (@1x) + a diffused MT-24EX (-1 FEC).



    I put down a little honey hoping that one of the males would start feeding on it. It doesn't always work, but when it does I can usually get a few frames. Tech specs: Canon 40D (F13, 1/250, ISO 100) + a Canon MPE-65mm macro lens (@2.5x) + a diffused MT-24EX (-1 FEC).



    This shot at five times life size has been stuck in my head for a while so I went out early in the morning (around 7:30) to look for a bee that was still trying to get its metabolism going. Mason bees will typically start foraging when the temperature is as low as 14C, but they need the heat from the sun to help keep them moving. Fortunately I got a break and the skies were partly cloudy -when the sun went behind a cloud it was like flicking a switch and he stopped moving. Tech specs: Canon 40D (F10, 1/250, ISO 100) + a Canon MPE-65mm macro lens (@5x) + a diffused MT-24EX (-1 FEC).



    All images taken hand held and with no focus stacking.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Mason Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by Dalantech View Post
    I had been watching him .....and got lucky
    It appears that you weren't the only one who got lucky....
    Great photos...as always.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Thousand Oaks, CA USA
    Posts
    1,206

    Default Re: Mason Bees

    Just incredible stuff. I always look forward to your posts.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Kokomo, In
    Posts
    359

    Default Re: Mason Bees

    Absolutely amazing! The detail is incredible!

    Not to make light of your fantastic photos, but my first thought was "That thing looks like a Wookiee!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Wibaux, Montana
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Mason Bees

    Great photos and incredible detail . Wish I had that camera lens!

    Bee Kid

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Naples, Italy
    Posts
    193

    Default Re: Mason Bees

    Thanks folks

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Crawfordville, FL
    Posts
    2,569

    Default Re: Mason Bees

    How did you achieve the black background? Just in awe that you took those handheld!
    The bees know!
    AKA Wormtounge

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Naples, Italy
    Posts
    193

    Default Re: Mason Bees

    Thanks folks

    Quote Originally Posted by Bodo View Post
    How did you achieve the black background? Just in awe that you took those handheld!
    The black background is due to the flash being the only significant light source in the scene, and it's just turning on long enough to expose the subject. It's also the key to getting sharp images -the shorter the duration of the flash the easier it is to freeze motion and get sharp details.

    As for the hand holding: Once you get the technique down it's just muscle memory and mechanics. Takes practice, but I think that anyone can do it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Columbia county, New York, USA
    Posts
    1,535

    Default Re: Mason Bees

    Dalantech, i am always awed by your spectacular bee photos! Breathtaking.

    Yesterday I got lucky enough to capture a male blue orchard mason be just emerging from his cocoon in my nesting box. Here he is brand new curled wings and all. Five seconds after this he just flew right off into the big world.
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Bend, Oregon
    Posts
    120

    Default Re: Mason Bees

    I love it! Great photos!

  11. #11

    Default Re: Mason Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by Bodo View Post
    How did you achieve the black background?
    Some of the high end photo editing software will also enable you to identify your subject and replace everything else with a solid background color of your choosing. For five or six hundred bucks you can pick up a copy of Adobe Photoshop CS4...and that'll do the trick.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: Mason Bees

    I really do enjoy your photos. They are fantastic. Thank you for sharing them.
    Damian
    Bee Local™ | www.beelocal.com | damian@beelocal.com | Portland, OR

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Naples, Italy
    Posts
    193

    Default Re: Mason Bees

    Thanks Omie That's a really cool capture! I need to set up a bee hotel out at my mother in law's farm.

    Thanks Oregonbeek

    Thanks Majista

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Apple Valley, MN
    Posts
    375

    Default Re: Mason Bees

    These are fantastic photos! I saw some mason bee hives at the garden store and I'd really like to get a few. I wish I had a camera that could take such wonderful pictures like these.
    ~Michelle

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