Bees in flight ?


LittleSkink

Link Posted 16/07/2018 - 20:29
So heres the thing, I have been trying to do some high speed Macro - just to see what is possible

We have a load of Sea Holly in the garden that is awash with bees and I have a variety of flash kit but so far no luck - looking for some top tips to dial in my technique - lots of fun, luck and patience already expended, in a good way

Outdoors, full sun, I have a white diffuser over the work area to keep some usable light. Pentax AF280 is on full manual power getting some light into background via a 90cm reflecting umbrella (hate black background macros). Metz AF52, also full manual power has a 20cm Metz octabox thingy on it and is approx 25cm from targets. Tried 35mm Macro as well as 58mm Nokton on extension tubes. Got a 100mm M f2.8 but figure its too long focal length for extension tube use. I can catch the "right moment" but things are still not sharp enough, running f11 and 1/125 - hoping the power of the flash would freeze things. If I go to lower power for shorter duration flash it needs wider aperture and depth of field makes it almost hopeless

I suspect I need to go faster shutter speed but dont really know how the high speed sync thing works, esp with extension tubes - being a bit "old school" I have pretty much always used flashes on manual. FWIW using cheap chinese radio triggers (they work fine for portraits) but have an off camera lead for the Metz, so might need to change my approach here.

davidstorm

Link Posted 16/07/2018 - 21:30
Maybe you could post a few images for us to see and comment on?

Gut reaction to what you've posted is that you are going overboard with the setup and making life difficult for yourself? Success with this type of shot is not about masses of flash equipment it's about knowing how the bees behave, picking the right plant subjects (with the right background) and anticipating the direction / speed of flight. At the moment there is plenty of natural light without the need for flash and you can get a very respectable shutter speed with the right aperture, plenty high enough to freeze the action. Another tip would be to go manual focus and wait for the subject to be in the right place for the right bits to be sharp. AF is almost impossible.

Here's a few I did:













Cheers
David
My Website http://imagesbydavidstorm.foliopic.com

Flickr

Some cameras, some lenses, some bits 'n' bobs

richandfleur

Link Posted 16/07/2018 - 22:01
Far out David, those last two are insanely good. Well done!

Agree about learning behaviours, and I understand now about why it's useful to slow down and get a feel for a situation. Lots of things happen in patterns, and if you can observe long enough to see these, you'll gain a lot of benefits.


derek897

Link Posted 16/07/2018 - 22:57
I'd agree with what David said too, Slow right down, observe, the patterns, I do a fair bit of macro too, and I have failed at this too, but I think I'll get there in the end.
David, they are savage, super shooting.
I know what i like, If not always why.

davidwozhere

Link Posted 17/07/2018 - 01:48
I have to agree with David too. These were taken quite normally, without flash. Observe the bees' habits, how do they approach or leave the flower? Most will be right handed, for example, making for the next one on the right. High speed honey bees really slow down and almost hover when confronted with compound flowers, such as hyacinth or crocosmia (montbretia, that was). They have little choice but to drop out of fuschias. .... etc.
And finally, expect a keeper ratio of less than 1:100 to begin with. It improves with time.






Both the *istDS and the K5 are incurably addicted to old glass

My page on Photocrowd - link

McGregNi

Link Posted 17/07/2018 - 04:21
Its hard not to agree with those guys posting images here! Actually David's and David's shots look like they were take with flash (at least if they had said they were, I'd have believed them!).

(BTW, instead of "David's and David's" I first tried to write "both Davids shots", but that doesn't seem to work .... perhaps "both the Davids shots" ... ? Hmmm, I've not had this problem with written English before....

Finally, going back to the technical question about HSS flash here .... answer, no.

LittleSkink, the problem you've got is your lens equipment. You can't do HSS with an M type lens, or manual tubes. The shutter speed won't go beyond max sync without the camera detecting both an HSS capable flash or trigger on the hotshoe, plus an A-type or later lens (that communicates aperture to the camera). Obviously also the AF280 is not HSS capable.

In any case, HSS flash may not give you your intended result, as it can cause more blur than normal flash, even at very short exposures. This is due to the rapid pulsing type of light it emits, as opposed to a single "pop" of normal flash.
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver

LittleSkink

Link Posted 17/07/2018 - 07:10
thanks folks, food for thought. My observation, patience and hit ratio are decent enough its my technique that needs to change - will go will hope for another wind free day and try some different approaches

derek897

Link Posted 17/07/2018 - 09:18
McGregNi wrote:


(BTW, instead of "David's and David's" I first tried to write "both Davids shots", but that doesn't seem to work .... perhaps "both the Davids shots" ... ? Hmmm, I've not had this problem with written English before....


Quite the dilemma
😂😂😂😂
I know what i like, If not always why.

derek897

Link Posted 17/07/2018 - 12:18
Here are my 2 best efforts from (lots)
Using bellows + 105mm macro + ringflash and homemade diffuser, I had wanted to get a proper macro of a bee in flight, but this was the best I could manage, at
exp 1/200th, f8 and iso 200
not the prettiest either.


_IMG4843edsm by dr.shutter, on Flickr


_IMG4842edsm by dr.shutter, on Flickr
I know what i like, If not always why.

davidstorm

Link Posted 17/07/2018 - 22:31
An interesting thread indeed! I know everyone's not into macro and insect photos, but this sparks my interest at least.

I had to smile at Nigel's post, I can confirm 100% Nigel there is 'no flash' in my images and your struggles with 'the two Davids' is hilarious!

Thanks to the OP for this topic and for generating some debate / advice. This area of photography is very difficult to perfect and a lot of credit is due to everyone who's managed to capture one of these well.

Regards
David
My Website http://imagesbydavidstorm.foliopic.com

Flickr

Some cameras, some lenses, some bits 'n' bobs

McGregNi

Link Posted 18/07/2018 - 21:54
Yes, well hopefully the other David will drop out now, making things much easier, David....

Come on LittleSkink! This is the Flash Forum...… lets see some of the shots you took with that interesting sounding lighting set-up. Even if they're not sharp it would still be very interesting to see the sort of lighting you created, and a worthwhile comparison to the other non-flash shots here.
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver

derek897

Link Posted 18/07/2018 - 22:40
Here is a flash based shot, taken with bellows+ 105mm macro + ringflash and diffuser


_IMG1648ed2sm by dr.shutter, on Flickr
I know what i like, If not always why.

davidwozhere

Link Posted 19/07/2018 - 01:56
No, definitely no flash. I haven't a clue how to use it.
Both the *istDS and the K5 are incurably addicted to old glass

My page on Photocrowd - link

Chrism8

Link Posted 19/07/2018 - 07:37
An effort from yesterday to add to the mix, although not really macro as the only lens I had on the camera was a Sigma 100 - 300 F4 so I was standing about 1.5m away from the Bee.

K3ii - 800 ISO - F8 - 1/1000 sec @ 220mm



Chris

www.chrismillsphotography.co.uk

" A Hangover is something that occupies the Head you neglected to use the night before".

-------------------------------------------------------------
K1 - Sigma 85mm F1.4, Pentax 150 -450 F4.5 / 5.6, Pentax FA 24 - 70 F2.8

Sigma 100-300 F4, Samyang 14mm F2.8, Sigma 70-200 F2.8,

K5iis - Sigma 17 - 70 F2.8, Sigma 70 - 300 F3.5/F5.6, Sigma 18 - 200 F3.6 / F4.5.

RobL

Link Posted 19/07/2018 - 07:45
Re. the question on HSS flash, am I right in thinking that the actual duration of a single electronic flash is much faster than the synch speed? There are factors which govern the speed and intensity of the light burst but essentially it would freeze some movement no matter what speed setting is used (as long as it is at synch speed or slower). Derek’s hover fly is a good example, flash froze the movement but not fast enough for the wings though. Maybe dialling down the flash output would speed it up more, I frequently use 1/4 output on a ring flash but that might not be enough.
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