Sunday, January 1, 2012

Beeutiful - Bee Photography

Bee on a purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea Asteraceae) which blooms for us in late summer.
     Zachery Huang, a biologist who has been studying bees for over two decades is an amazing photographer whose stunning photos can be seen at beetography.com.  These are a few of his photos.  I think bees are not only biologically amazing but beautiful as well, particularly when photographed on a colourful flower blossom.

 Borage (Borago officinalis) also known as starflower is a slightly invasive herb (volunteer) which in our garden can bloom from spring to fall and is a bee favourite. 
Goldenrod (Solidago), considered invasive is a favourite of bees and blooms in late summer and  fall.  I have discovered that bees love invasive plants like goldenrod, mint, blackberry, fennel, lemon balm and black locust. 
     Zachery has made available some of his best photos for your desktop wall paper at beetography.com/Honey-Bees/Wall-Papers-Free/746084_m2dRrQ#266110048_NXto8.  Some other good bee photography sites are thehoneygatherers.com/html/index and beedreams.com.  This year I bought my first cheap digital camera and began taking photos of our bees.  I have found that photography and in particular macro insect and flower photography forces you to slow down and look more closely at your environment.  This is a good thing when you live in the hustle and bustle of a big city.  My photos pale in comparison but Zachery's photos give me a goal to aspire to.  Here are a few of my photos of bees and plants bees love.
The common asian aster which blooms in a mass of small flowers for us from August through October  is a bee favourite.
Pink phlox, (native to North America) possibly Phlox paniculata David.
Japanese anemone blooms from late summer through the fall.  In most areas food for bees is readily available in spring and  summer so it is important to provide a food source for the bees in the early spring and autumn when there is less available food sources.   
Sunflower (Helianthus annuus), native to the americas and a bee favourite.

One of my girls enjoying a sunflower
One of our bees and a stranger to the left enjoying a rudbeckia (black-eyed Susan)  which is native to North America.


Western bumble bee (Bombos occidentalis) harvesting pollen from a Japanese Anemone.

     The photographs of Eric Tourneret, an amazing French photographer can be seen at his website (http://thehoneygatherers.com/html/index_en.html).  Through his photos he tries to reveal the relationship between bees and different human cultures ( Honey hunters of Nepal).


     Obviously when shooting bees macro settings for those close-up shots are a must.   Here are some macro photography tips from professional photographer Layne Kennedy of Ultimate Photo Guide (ultimatephotoguide.com).  Ultimate Photo Guide is a good site for learning about all aspects of photography.  


High magnification macro photography by Thomas Shahan.

Insect Macro Photography
     For more examples of bee and plant photography go to the Bee Plant pages of this website.
   


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