Bee on Dog Rose flowers in our garden
Bee on a Dog Rose flower in our back garden; 15 July 2014.

I spent a long time at the bottom of the garden, enjoying the look and feel of this rather ragged place, and lazily looking around for anything with photographic potential.  Our back garden’s northern boundary is a great bank of bramble and other plants, that is at once something of magnificence and beauty, but also something to keep a strict eye on, as it endlessly contemplates advancing across the rough lawns stretching out below it.

Bees were constantly attending the various flowers in this great vegetational mass and, being armed with very quick and accurate autofocus and a bright lens, I thought to try portraying them.  OMG they’re quick, they don’t hang around!!!  My numbers of fully failed shots are truly vast. 

And I also found truth in something I have read in various places – that in this sort of “high speed, small subject” situation, its better to use single exposures rather than machine gun-like motor drive.  As I’ve read, the number of failed shots significantly increased with motor drive – because the latter does not give the camera time between shots to focus properly.  I used a single autofocus point,  linked to spot metering.

Here is an individual going after nectar and pollen from what I think is a Dog Rose flower – it may be a Bramble, but I’m inclined towards the rose.  This insect is of course the main thing in this image, but I also like the great, circular, almost grove-like mass of stamens up to the right of it, which to me helps to give this picture a rather otherworldly look.  Another strange and certainly alien looking flower centre is pushing up into the frame from bottom right.

D800 with 105mm Nikkor; 1600 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Full Contrast & Structure preset, and adding the look of an ambrotype.

About Adrian Lewis
Photographer working in monochrome, colour and combinations of the two - with a great liking for all sorts of images, including Minimalism, landscapes, abstracts, soft colour, people, movement, nature - I like to be adventurous in my photography, trying new ideas and working in many genres. And I'm fond of Full English Breakfasts and Duvel golden ale, though not necessarily together.


  1. Sonali Dalal says:

    So beautiful. You are experimenting so much! Somehow, I have stopped it thanks to my presence on social networking. I realise in some ways it has limited creativity. When you are on social networks you crave “likes” and then you tend to do things which are appreciated in general. I must come out of this rut. But I have so much responsibility there that I can’t chuck it too. I must find out a middle path.


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Sonali, my good friend, please accept some advice from this fat old man. If something is limiting your creativity and if you are not happy with this limitation, then you must take steps to remove it. If creativity means so much to you – and it should! – you must be ruthless.

      And always remember that you are not taking pictures to gather “Likes” and appreciation, but rather that you are taking pictures to express yourself and your creativity >>> what you feel deep down in your heart and in your guts.

      And the same applies for responsibility. If it is voluntary and if it is hindering your creativity, you must think which you value most, and act accordingly. I am at just such a crossroads now, with the possibility of taking on responsibility for two groups looking at art in Bristol, and I’m thinking long and hard about it. One of the bottom lines is that I value my freedom too much!

      Please think carefully about what I’ve said. The choices in the end are your’s. Adrian


      • Sonali Dalal says:

        Adrian thanks :). I value the advise. I fully understand what you say. I have thought a lot about it too. I have reduced facebook use and am hardly visible there, as I realised that it is doing nothing to increase or improve my knowledge. Flickr too I have almost stopped because it has become too mechanical. Only place where I am active at the moment is g+. And there it has been pretty interesting stay till now,from learning point of view. Mentorship I am part of is proving to be good for me as I am learning new things. Responsibility I have undertaken is voluntary. Initially I posted pictures which I didn’t think did justice to my photography. Now I have decided that I will post photographs which I can identify with or which I am satisfied with it. They may not be too creative but they should be good photograph as per what I consider my standard. This has given me feeling of peace. But my ultimate love is always reserved for my WordPress blog.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Malin H says:

    Haha.. Yes, they certainly are quick… ;))
    Sweet image of this little guy.

    Have a wonderful Sunday, my friend.


  3. Sallyann says:

    It’s not a bee at all. !!!
    It’s a tiny little striped rabbit. 🙂


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