The Bees of Spring

It may be basic, but when you think about macro photography, the first thing you think… bugs, right?  Other than the fact that they move and they’re hard to control, especially outside, there is good reason.  Here’s my bumblebee:

Bumblebee macro picture

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With my 100mm macro lens, things get really big, if you can get close enough.  While this is great, it also means you have a pretty darn shallow depth of field, which means that your bee looks more like this:

Macro Bumblebee picture with focus on the wings

Nice bee wings but I was going for a full-bee type of thing.  Anyway, getting distracted.  Cameras these days are pretty darn good – my 3-generation-old Digital Rebel XT still leaves plenty of room for cropping, which is what I did on the picture above to give it just about the same look as the closer picture below.  I guess the parting thought is that although it is always good to try and shoot what you want to end up with, sometimes cropping is a useful tool.  Want a little tip?  Hit the jump.

Lastly, when you’re doing your cropping, Photoshop is my useful tool of choice, but as I learn most every day, I have no idea how to use it.  Usually I turn my full-resolution pictures into 1024×768 when I post them here.  I wanted to keep the same aspect ratio when I cropped it down – I’m particular about shapes, ok?  Anyway, I learned something – Photoshop, as always, has an easy way to do this.

Select the Rectangular Marquee Tool – that one you use to make any sort of selections.

crop-toolYou might notice that in the settings for said tool, you can switch from Normal style to Fixed Ratio or Fixed Size.  If we went Fixed Size, we could just select 1024×768 and we would have a selection the exact size we want.  Only problem, as I’m sure you know, is that we want to select however much of the image we want, in the right aspect ratio, and then make that 1024×768, so fixed ratio it is.  I entered 1.33334 to 1, which is close enough, and then drew my rectangle.  Wiggle things around until you like the crop and then choose crop.  Afterwards, I just resized the canvas to 1024×768.  I think it wanted to give me 1024.3×768, but I removed the constrain aspect ratio setting as it was just close enough.  Learn something every day, right?


  1. Sometimes there are things you just don’t want to see, I’ll admit, but most of the time the details in the littlest stuff fascinate me. Now if I could just make them all stand still…


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