Color, graphic, focus, subject?

When you edit something catches your eye and you give it a rating. One star, two star… It’s not hard. But then you have to choose one among your two stars. Now what? I’m not picky in what rates a star or two. Three, there’s another decision. It has to stand above and be noticeably different. Meanwhile there are a lot of passable shots. I am not to picky about 1, 2, or 3 images. 3,5,7… it gets tricky. Too many pictures not enough space.


Random flip thru the catalog….

Hmmm… before I got my macro lens? I could look it up…lazy.

Dragonfly. They are hard to photograph…mostly because they are always in motion rarely perched and I never have my camera on hand. Perfect! I was in the right place at the right time.

Great shot. Good focus. Good detail. The background is defocused. No distraction. Composition ok. Closer? Should I be? (Ha! An interesting sentence… two verbs surrounding a noun.) Good exposure. It’s why I noticed the image once more. The word pristine came to mind.


What catches your eye? Wildlife, bugs, birds – all difficult subjects. They are wild and act accordingly. It’s not easy to get close enough for a decent picture. Pose? Ha! I feel lucky to get an image. Sometimes we reach détente. I sidle up. The bug sits. I get a picture. Everyone goes away happy.

Better? Sure. But then you have to be happy you got anything. I would not be hanging out if something big and potentially threatening got up close to me. I was limited by the focus of my camera and the zoom. There is only so close you can get while still getting the camera to focus. Often the subject is too small. Enlargement loses detail. Imperfect or nothing? I’ll take the shot.


I just spin the catalog and up popped a dragonfly. Imperfect, there is much to criticize. And yet the image is arresting. Nice dark background. Focus, a bit soft; spider web, potential; flower, past prime. Hey, it was random!

There is always better. I strive. But I accept imperfection. Hey, it’s a dragonfly. You got one to compare?


I cruise my garden about once a day. Today a butterfly flew into my view as I was about to focus. Okay! Nice shot. Purely fortuitous timing. Really!

And a caterpillar! With a matching red flower. Come to think of it, I do not think I have seen a red caterpillar. Talk about shoes to match the bag…. Hey! It was a lucky day!

Technical? Well, focus is the key to all. The details of the caterpillar hair ensures your image is sharp. I try to focus on the eye of the butterfly. It’s nice if the antennae are sharp.

Caterpillars move slow. A butterfly paused on a flower is also in one spot. The butterfly did not stay long. The caterpillar burrowed under a petal. Photo op done.


We get bugs. I get bugs. I get to photograph them – a praying mantis and a bumble bee. Fortuitous? Luck? Chance? The opportunity occurs randomly and not frequently.

I go for the dot in the praying mantis eye.

 “A praying mantis has 5 eyes! You would think two would be enough, but not for a hunter like this. Small eyes in the middle of the head are used for detecting light while the big compound eyes are for seeing movement and having depth vision.”

Ok! You learn something new every day. I do not see more than one dot per eye.

Bumble bee?

“A bumblebee is any of over 250 species in the genus Bombus, part of Apidae, one of the bee families.”

I see one type of bumble bee? More? They sting? Nah! I swat them away from me all the time.

The shot? Get in close. Macro lens. Focus. It seems I cannot quite get in close enough. The macro lens gives me plenty of detail. I’m still working on it. The praying mantis sat on my screen for two days. Oh my?!

The bumble bee was one of several buzzing my passion flowers. It was hard to photograph. The bee was buried under the pistil and partially covered. Focus. I tried and got detail of the pollen covered thorax. Depth of field is so shallow with the macro lens. It was hard to get the bee and flower detail in focus simultaneously.

My present goal was to just get in close and focus on the details.

Fine detail

I enlarged the image. Macro. Focus is critical. There is no depth of field to speak of. You just have to be dead on focused.

It’s a fly? Or a bee? The fine detail on its leg can be seen. I thought it was pollen? No.

Slightly out of focus? Nope, if you are, the image is a discard. It’s not operating room microscopy. But there is a certain skill needed to get this shot. It can be done better? Sure, but I am a lazy photographer. No waiting around. No spending time getting shot after shot. Besides, the bug ain’t staying for long. Shoot early. Shoot often.


All that’s missing? The spider. Early morning mist in my garden revealed this spider web. It is not geometrically perfect. Ha ha. But then the water droplets reveal a rare sight to my lens. Focus is hard. I usually tweak manual focus to get better detail of the drops. I’d have liked a bug or the spider. Sometimes you can’t always get what you want.


Covered in pollen this bee landed on my hand as I was on my morning photo tour of the garden. Ok! Shoot me! And I did. The bee lingered long enough for me to get this shot. No complaint. It flew off.

The pollen makes this image striking. Focus is critical. Macro has very limited depth of field. Everything needs to be focused for this image to work. Under the circumstances I am usually in manual focus. Auto focus is hit and miss.