Thrifty Thursday

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Thrifty Thursdays feature photographs taken with equipment costing less than $500.

Guard bees at the hive entrance, captured with a Panasonic Lumix digicam

[Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3]

Small cameras like the Pananic Lumix DMC-ZS3 achieve macro not through magnification per se, but by allowing the optics to focus close to the front element. An insect sitting right next to a small lens will appear large in the resulting photograph.

A key specification to evaluate when purchasing a digicam for macro work, then, is the minimum focus distance. The smaller this distance, the more effective the magnification. The Panasonic can focus at 3cm, allowing me to cozy up to a bee.

Two other elements help the above photograph work. First, I shot this image in the shade to avoid glare and harsh shadows, allowing the bee’s color to stand out. Second, the inclusion of a second guard bee in the background turns what was a simple portrait into more of a narrative. This composition was simply a matter of taking 15 shots and selecting the one with the most interesting pairing of background with subject.

5 thoughts on “Thrifty Thursday”

  1. Do you use a remote control to capture some of your images? We’ve got a Fuji Finepix that has a similar macro function (and an incredible super-macro), but find it hard to cozy up without scaring away.

  2. I’ve always thought honeybees looked like flying teddy bears from an anime universe, and nothing captures that better than this.

  3. Pingback: Worst Places to Get Stung by a Bee, Self-Experimentation - From Quarks to Quasars

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