11.01.20: Bee at work

A bee rests on a wild hollyhock flower in a field in Slate Run Metro Park, Canal Winchester, Ohio.

A bee rests on a wild hollyhock flower in a field in Slate Run Metro Park, Canal Winchester, Ohio.

Tech specs

  • Date: July 12, 2008, 8:30 a.m.
  • Location: 39°45'43.4" N 82°51'53.66" W (Show in Google Maps)
  • Camera: Canon EOS 40D
  • Lens: Canon EF 600mm f/4L, Canon 1.4x teleconverter (840mm)
  • Aperture: f/9
  • Shutter: 1/250th second
  • ISO: 200

White flower provides spotlight for bee

Fields in Central Ohio parks are filled with a variety of wildflowers during the summer months, so I’m surrounded by color when I’m on my summertime wildlife photo-hikes.

And I’ll occasionally grab a shot if I see a flower positioned as part of an interesting composition. I don’t carry a macro (or close-up) lens with me on these hikes so I have to use my bird set-up: a 600 millimeter super telephoto lens and a 1.4x teleconverter to give me an 840-millimeter focal length. That means I’m shooting close-up photos of flowers from more than 15 feet away. It’s not the typical way to shoot flower photos, but it works.

I was walking the wetlands trail in Slate Run Metro Park southeast of Columbus, Ohio, on a summer morning in 2008 when I noticed one white flower in a field of green. I thought it could make an interesting composition so I took a closer look through the telephoto lens.

I quickly noticed two things: One, red berries to the left of the flower provided a nice color contrast; and — more importantly — two, there was a bee in the flower.

The white flower seemed to provide a spotlight for the bee, drawing the eye straight to that spot of the composition. So I watched as the bee crawled around the flower, hoping it would climb out facing the camera instead of just flying away.

I got lucky.

The bee climbed out in a perfect position, then paused. I took a couple of shots before the bee flew away.

I like how the simplicity of the bee and flower contrast with the busy background of leaves and berries in the field.

I liked how the white flower seemed to provide a spotlight for the bee, drawing the eye straight to that spot of the composition.