Even at 1/3200 of a second this incoming bumblebee’s wings are a blur. Short of using a high powered strobe I don’t think it is possible to freeze their motion completely.
There were two kinds of bees hard at work on this patch of flowers. One was a slimmer and less hairy bee which methodically flew up to a flower head and worked its way systematically around each flower before moving on to another. It was quite easy to photograph these guys due to their very predictable movements. The others were the bumblebees.
The bumblebees behaved as their name might suggest. They flew in crazy erratic patterns from flower head to flower head with no hint of any systematic approach to pollen collection. This made them hard to watch and hard to photograph. Still I wanted a photo of a bumblebee and I persisted until I had one.
I chose what I though would be a high enough shutter speed, I bumped up the ISO and stopped down a little to have a better chance of a focused image. There was nothing ‘beeline’ about getting a shot I was happy with. It was like bumbling photographer meets bumbling bee and only those rare intersecting moments resulting in a usable image.
In the end it’s patience that wins and not making a beeline.
Photo: Robert Rath, ‘Bumblebeeline’, 1/3200s f/4.5 ISO3200 200mm
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