A bee hive.

by Janice Myers
(Ont, Canada)

This shot came out better than I ever could have imagined, but it was hard getting it........I have trouble using Macro...any ideas or tips would be greatly appreciated.

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I have recently moved house (and this accounts for the delay in updating this – apologies), and first of all let me say that no-one should ever attempt moving house without first getting some counselling.

In fact, better still don't move house at all. Never move. Never ever move.

First of all there is the steady stream of guests to contend with – quotes for removals, new tenants appearing, meter readers, landlords, neighbours you've only met because you're moving . . . and the list continues.

After a couple of removal quotes you decide that you can break your crockery and crystal-ware quite happily on your own, so why pay the eye-watering cost of a removal company to do it for you?

But of course your car is never going to fit all your belongings in, so you then go around the van-hire companies to add some more quotes into your specially created 'moving house' spreadsheet.

And after securing a van that you're not allowed to eat in, load too much, go too fast in, sit in or barely move from the courtyard you then realise that you need some heavy lifting help.

And that's where relatives come in. It's incredible what two greying pensioners can achieve with nothing more to spur them on than the promise of a packet of biscuits and a gallons of tea.

Finally we had made the move, and then comes the unpacking. The entire painful episode re-lived, but in rewind. And as a final insult, when you do finally sit down in front of your TV you find that the picture is so awful it is unwatchable.

Consequently I have spent the last two days almost permanently stationed on the roof adjusting the TV ariel. Or we might just give up and subscribe to cable or satellite. Life's too short.

And this brings me on to Janice's photo. It's a picture with a OK reception, but a few tweaks on the ariel should brighten things up a little.

Janice says that she took this in macro (big tick there), but that this is a little awkward. And it is.

The thing with macro photography is that there is a very short depth of field.

This means that if you move just a few inches closer, or futher away, your subject goes out of focus. There are a couple of things to try.

First of all, anticipate any movement in your subject. If it's a flower blowing in the breeze focus on it during a calm moment and then quickly take your shot. If it gets blown again wait for it to return to the spot you originally focussed on before pressing the shutter.

The second is to have a look at your camera menus. Many cameras have a function where the focus can track movement. It can't track a speeding train, but it can usually track a subject moving at walking pace.

Turn this function on and it will greatly assist in focussing on close subjects.

But I think the real improvement in Janice's photo is not the focussing, or the framing of the shot in general; it's the quality of the image.

It looks like it has come straight out of the camera. A little editing can really bring the photo to life.

In fact, I had a go myself. You can see my edited version, and Janice's original shot here.

All I did was boost the saturation and contrast a little, and then applied some sharpening. All of these functions are available in even the most basic image editing software – even the free versions.

In essence, I think the photo is good (with regard to the actual taking of the shot), and improvements lie in the post-processing.

Hope this helps Janice. And by the way, don't move house. Do not ever move house.

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Comments for A bee hive.

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Amazing What You Can See Up Close
by: Joe

It's always amazing to me to get shots like this and you realize when you look at them, that very rarely do you notice the beautiful details of such a small creature....

I wish there were more options for framing in the photo with something of interest, but it looks like there may not have been any other options!

To edit or not to edit, that is the question
by: Anonymous

I have been shooting with 35mm for several years and just recently purchased a DSLR.

No matter how good you are, no matter how good your camera, it is impossible to capture the exact image seen through the human eye.

I appreciate the purist, but images rarely develop with the stunning awe that is experienced when inspired to shoot the subject.

That is were a little post-touching comes in; not to manipulate the content of the image, but to make the image look like what was seen before the image was captured (regardless of the format).

Nice for EMT's too!
by: Wilber

Janice can instantly show the EMT's what kind of wasp stung her, couldn't do that with a film camera.

For those who may be wondering - EMTs are Emergency Medical Technicians.

Good post Wilber!


Great Pic
by: Keith

I was somewhat of a purist, in the fact I did not believe in editing photos, except for cropping.

I have to admit I am now becoming a fan of a adding some contrast or sharpness, it can really add dimension to a picture.

by: Anonymous

"It looks like it has come straight out of the camera. A little editing can really bring the photo to life."

Well, it depends on you, actually, and your ideas. I'm one of those persons that is kinda against editing shots... I won't blame anyone for not doing that.

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