Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Face Off, Carpenter Bee


May brings the Carpenter Bees out in droves. I have found capturing a good shot of a male hovering over his territory to be quite an interesting challenge. Although they seem to hover nearly stationary it still has not been an easy chore, at least for me.

First they are not nearly as stationary as they appear when I try to find one through my viewfinder. Normally by the time I have acquired focus the bee is zooming off to intercept an intruder or has moved a few inches and now out of focus. Shutter speed presents another problem as does depth of field. Of course to increase DOF one must move to a tighter aperture which decreases shutter speed. When all else comes together I find that I am usually looking at the south end of a north bound bee, not exactly the angle I was looking for.

As for safety while shooting these bees, notice white patch on the bee’s face; this mark identifies it as a male which has no stinger, only the black faced female carry the artillery.


Canon 30D, 100-400mm lens @ 400mm, F6.3 @ 1/250th sec, ISO 800

11 comments:

Chad Oneil Myers said...

Very nice! Look at those huge eyes!

Shionge said...

What a beauty...it looks like he is ready for a 'battle'....CHARGE!!!! ;)

Abraham Lincoln said...

I made it this morning to look at your post and then I am off for a lung test. I hope to be finished with all tests and back to normal by the 12th or soon thereafter.

Your photograph is really nice, as usual. I spent some time doing the same thing the other day and got some close-ups.

Old Wom Tigley said...

Well done Salty, I tried something similar with my S5 and failed... I weill have to just try harder now I've seen this great shot.

fishing guy said...

Salty: I really enjoy your photography and your shared information.

Stacey Huston said...

LOL. glad to know there is no stinger.. I would probably just make it mad and it would call in it's girlfriend.. thanks for sharing

carl in ga said...

Coy - this past weekend up at the barn, two of these buggers were in my dad's truck. One was just sitting on his front seat, the other just hovering stationary just 6 inches from it. Mating or territory competition?? I got my finger within 4 inches of the hovering one before it even moved. Then I nudged the one on the seat and it flew out the window. The other one spent the next 5 minutes flying in and out of the truck trying to locate it. Watch the behavior of these bees was amazing.

photowannabe said...

Amazing shot. Love your description of the south end of the north bound bee. Great identifying white face feature. I don't think I want to get close enough to tell whether it has a stinger or not.
Super, Salty.

DeeMom said...

Well certain thanks on the male / female Carpenter Bees, man they are all over here...Super shot...I have been dodging ours here

WE have three new babies ;)

Sherry said...

I know how difficult it is to capture a shot of these bees, and this is excellent! Great photo.

Lori Schmidt (LoriProPhoto) said...

That is something I didnt know about these little guys, the white on the face indicating it is male and doesnt have a stinger. I am definitely going to look closer at these guys tomorrrow (if we get sunshine, has been raining for 2 days)