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?

Large white

insect on lavender
About the only good thing about having a full hard drive is that it forces me to revisit old files, looking for things I can delete. In the process, I often find images that didn’t make the cut first time around but have grown on me since. These two butterfly shots are the case in point, taken in July 2011 at Mayfield Lavender farm, Banstead, Surrey.
insect on lavender
The large white butterfly, so prosaically named, is ubiquitous here in Surrey (and probably everywhere else in England) and it tends to get overlooked for more unusual species, but actually it is really quite pretty when you look closely. I like the eyes, with a subtle hint of green. If it was rare, we’d all be waxing lyrical about its ghostly beauty.