a lifetime burning

By Sheol

Small Scissor Bee

Tiny Tuesday: Britain's Smallest Bee

This female scissor bee is about half a centimetre long - I can't be more precise as she wouldn't stay still long enough for me to get a ruler on her ...just kidding of course. You can tell that she's the female of the species as she is busy collecting pollen under her abdomen.  To help you with the scale, she's collecting pollen from the head of a wild poppy.  That's the smaller red poppy that grows wild in the fields not the larger (prettier) oriental variety.

As both the flower and the bee are either red, orange or yellow, the colour palette of this shot is nicely limited, which I rather like.  Red's are interesting to photograph.  I find that I need to slightly under expose them to get them to look right.  Given that requirement, lighting the bee for the macro lens while not overpowering the flower was an interesting challenge (although you can tweak a lot of this stuff in processing if you shoot RAW, it helps enormously if you get as much right as possible in camera).

The other thing that I've fussed a lot about was the extent of the crop having settled on the square format. I initially cropped in quite close to the bee to show as much of its detail as possible (largely because the top of the eyes are in focus and show the faceting), but I eventually reversed that decision to include more of the flower so as to put the bee into context.

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