Flying Visit

8th June 2015

I love nature photography!

This image is the result of me setting out to get a half decent photograph of a Dunnock - more commonly known as a Hedge Sparrow!

I found a great spot in the garden, at a picnic bench, below a tree where a pair of Dunnocks had been regularly visiting. It was a wonderfully warm and sunny day, and the picnic bench was the ideal place to wait, and do a spot of early summer sunbathing.

Unfortunately, my presence must have scared my quarry away, as sunbathing was all I got done for about three quarters of an hour! The only birds that had come anywhere near my chosen tree had been juvenile starlings.

I was just about to leave, when I heard a buzzing sound, and when I looked over my shoulder, I noticed half a dozen bumblebees visiting some freshly opened Antirrhinum blooms.

I quickly changed my telephoto zoom lens over to my macro lens and went about trying to catch one of the bumblebees in flight.

Now, the bumblebee is quite a large insect, moves quite slowly, and it's quite easy to predict its flight path when it leaves a flower. So catching one in flight should be easy, right?


While I had no problem tracking an insect, I just couldn't seem to get one in focus! Using autofocus didn't seem to help, and I couldn't manually focus fast enough. The only sharp shots I managed to get were after the bumblebee had landed on the flower. I have to admit to having quite a few frames of bumblebee bottoms!

I needed to rethink my approach...

So, to get this shot, I used manual focus, and pre-focussed at the edge of the flower. I then had to trust to luck that a bumblebee would fly into my chosen flower. As you can see, this fluffy little chap obliged, so I'm making him my Image of the Week!

P.S. Later in the day, I also managed to grab a half decent shot of a Dunnock! Did I mention that I love nature photography? :)