How do you take good photos of bees/frames/etc while working your hives? I see many fantastic photos on this forum and I don't quite know how people are taking them (i.e. manipulating a camera while holding a frame for example). Any tips?
I usually use my smartphone (iPhone 5s) for "good enough" photos like the attached. It can be messy and I certainly don't want propolis on my camera. I have an old canon point and shoot that I relegated to bee shots, because I could take pictures with gloves on. However, I've since gotten used to going gloveless and the smartphone is more convenient and does an OK job. To keep it clean, you can put it in a sandwich bag. Touch screen still works and doesn't really affect photos. Though I also find it doesn't get as messy when not using gloves.
For taking shots of the frames, I usually have my son hold the frames so I can take the photo, or I put on edge on the top of a hive. That way I can easily hold it with one hand leaving the other free for the camera. You can use a frame holder as well, though I prefer to be able to position the frame relative to the sun for the light I want, which you can't always achieve with the framing hanging on the side of your hive box.
I use one of my Nikon DSLRs. I have a set of "close up filters" that screw on the front of the lens to allow me to bring the camera in extra-close. The D5100 can also shoot video.
Photographing bees on flowers is tricky. It is hard to catch them in focus because they move around so much. The "flower" presets on my cameras are not the best choice because the bees move too much. I find a "sports" setting and plenty of sunlight help. On the D5100 I'll get multiple shots when I hold the shutter, and maybe get lucky and one of them will be really good.
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