Macro photography – Bumble bee

Bumble bee extreme closeup

Bumble bee macro

I Love macro photography; the great thing is you can find subjects almost anywhere you look. I found this chap on a wild flower in a field just outside my house in June last year whilst I was out with my new Tamron 90mm macro lens.

This type of subject is the reason I got the macro lens. I already owned a Tamron 70-300 mm Tele zoom with macro facility, but it will only produce a 1:2 magnification ratio, and has a brightest aperture of f4.5. The Tamron 90mm F2.8 will produce a 1:1 image and the f2.8 aperture gives a brighter image in the viewfinder of my K-r. The one small disadvantage of the 90mm focal length is that you need to get much closer to the subject to get the magnificatiom. Mind you, that’s the other great thing about macro photography – the subject is normally so busy doing their own thing that they often don’t notice the camera !

This exposure was made at an aperture of f11 to get as much depth of field as I could. Once you move into macro photography a large depth of field could be measured in millimeters, so to try to get the whole bee in focus I needed a small aperture. At that aperture I had to set a shutter speed / iso setting of 1/180th at iso 2200 and hope I could hold the camera steady enough.  Fortunately, although the K-r isn’t as good at high iso shots as the K-5 I’ve since upgraded to, it was OK with this shot. As always the shot was taken in RAW mode.

Once I got the image into post processing in Lightroom, I added some sharpening to the hair on the bee’s back and adjusted the exposure slightly before posting to Flickr.

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