02.12.17: Flower and small bee


A small bee visits a yellow flower in Sharon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.


Technical information

June 8, 2008,
8:41 a.m.

40°6’50” N,
82°57'30" W
(Show in Google Maps)

Canon EOS 40D

Canon EF 600mm f/4L, Canon 1.4x teleconverter (840mm) 


1/500th second


There are times when I set out to photograph flowers. I grab a macro (or close-up) lens, a tripod and couple of flash units to provide controlled lighting, find a patch of flowers, determine which ones would be best to shoot, set up the equipment and go to work. It can be a lengthy process.

Then there are times when I’m on one of my wildlife photo hikes and see a flower that would be perfect to photograph. I don’t have my macro lens with me. I don’t have a tripod. I don’t have flash units. All I have is the long, heavy 600 millimeter super telephoto lens and a 1.4x teleconverter that I use when photographing wildlife.  It’s ideal for wildlife photos, but it 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.

This is one of those “improvised” flower photos.

I was hiking in a field in a local park, photographing birds, when I saw this yellow flower growing alone. The background was uncluttered. The morning sun was providing perfect light. So I decided to get a photo.

It wasn’t until I saw the flower through the viewfinder, enlarged by the long lens, that I noticed some sort of bug was feeding on it. The bug looked like an ant, but when I saw the photo on the computer I realized the bug was a small bee.

I like how the curving plant stem is visible but still blends with the greens in the background, and how the flower stands out against the field of green.

Each week I will post a photo from my collection with an explanation of how I got the shot. Previous photos of the week are in the archives.