Thursday, 2 June 2011


Blessed with a glorious day here on the North Norfolk coast, it was back to another of my favourite subjects. There were red-tails and white-tails on the flowers in the garden in considerable numbers, but that doesn't make capturing them in flight any easier. I find the trick is to up the ISO to at least 640 and – light permitting – open up the aperture as wide as possible. These two together allow for the most important factor – as fast a shutter speed as you can manage. Then, I find it most effective to focus on a mid-point petal (my eyes and hands are not up to focusing quickly enough on a moving bee), crop the image in the viewfinder so that there is space to one side of the shot and – with one eye looking through the viewfinder and the other looking for approaching bees – let the motor drive rip as one picks out the flower you're concentrating on. If it all comes off, you can end up with some great shots of a most charming creature.

All Canon 1Ds MkII, 1/5,000 sec, f/4 at ISO 640
For more on bumblebees, try this resource 


  1. Wish I knew how to operate my digital camera as well as I used to my Pentax. Smashing shots and I love the flowers too, especially the white one.

  2. Great angles on these Tim, really makes the shot.