The bigger picture

garden photography
A common approach with insect photography is to zoom in close, sometimes very close, to show the details not normally noticed by the naked eye. Sometimes it’s nice, however, to show the insect in a wider view, perhaps because it has settled on a particularly pretty flower or because the photographer wants to show the insect’s habitat. I think I come at my insect photography with the eye of an aspiring landscape photographer. I naturally tend to situate my insect subjects in a wider setting, where the background is as important as the insect. For me, although the top shot is pleasing, I prefer the version below, because I enjoy the background as much as I do the bee.
garden photography
In this last image, the bee provides a focal point, a starting and finishing place for the viewer’s eye that, hopefully, stops the picture becoming simply a ‘wallpaper’ image. But, for me, the real impact of this image is the gentle, muted colours of the out of focus border.
carder bee
What do you think?

15 thoughts on “The bigger picture

  1. Hmmm . . . Photography, for me, is showing the viewer something they don’t normally see (the first shot), or showing something they often see, but not look at (the last shot).

    All those shots are fine with me, but they serve different purposes. The last one is a beautiful artistic shot, but the bee is not the subject. You could put any insect there, and while it may draw the eye, it would not change the feel of the photo. It would even work without the bee.

    The first, on the other hand, is showing you details of how the bee interacts with the flower. That is a bee shot, showing you how it hangs on, how it lines up, etc.

    I would not call it clinical . . . clinical would be a lone be on a flat surface, with a pin through it.

    But, I’m an amateur, with my own ideas about things (often made up on the spot).

  2. I love the last shot and the wider view in general. At the moment I am getting as close as I can but only for recording and trying to identify the insect. That is a clinical approach.

  3. I like both: the wider view appeals to the artistic sense, but the closer view appeals to my nerdy scientific sense. And of course, you do both extremely well.

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