Bit of eye candy this time rather than anything especially creative. So sue me ;-)
I know, the composition is awful, it's looking out of frame, but opportunities to get a shot of a bee are few and far between, especially with the weather we've had this month. I should say in my defence it's at maximum telephoto.
Place: 259 out of 500 Avg (all users): 5.6690 Avg (commenters): 6.0000 Avg (participants): 5.6154 Avg (non-participants): 5.8049 Views since voting: 465 Views during voting: 213 Votes: 145 Comments: 7 Favorites: 0
Well, first of all, this ROCKS! I nearly duplicated your photo with my entry! I want to post this first then read your other comments, just so my wording can be my own opinion.
One change I might suggest would be to try to get the background a little lighter, (in brightness, not color). I do like how it is completely out of focus though. The background on my entry didn't work out as well as this. Maybe a way to lighten the background would be to enhance the overall image. The bee could use just a bit more brightening which in turn might enhance the color too?...maybe? I didn't even get around to voting on this entry so I can't really say I helped you or hurt you.
You did beat me by "TWO" places though, so you did something right. -BB
I really like the sharpness and color in this photo. However the bee blends into the stem of the plant too much and is not very obvious. In fact I don't recall seeing the bee at all during my voting and that may explain some the scoring. After spending time looking at the photo I now can't understand how I could have ever not seen the bee, but the fact is I didn't see it when I first opened up this photo and it took maybe 5-6 seconds before I did see it. Great focus on the bee btw.
I think you have good technical -- the focus is good, the lighting isn't too harsh, the exposure and white balance are good. I do think the composition hurts it the most.
The bee is almost swallowed up by the flowers and as a result, the technical prowess you exhibited there gets swallowed up as well.
It is *almost* centered which can lead to a "static" feeling to begin with, but it is just a bit off, so it also has a slight unbalanced feeling as well. I think either making the bee completely centered, or leading the composition left or right would at least eliminate one of the distractions.
For me, personally, the shot doesn't say a lot more than "I can take a bee picture in focus" (which is a good thing) or perhaps a bit more emotionally, "Spring is here!" Unfortunately, outside of nature (photography) enthusiasts, there may not be a lot in this shot to grab the viewer and compell them to be moved inside.
If your purpose is to create technically well done and pleasing shots, you have done well. If you want a bit more emotion in your shots, this may fall a touch short.
Bee shots are hard, since they tend to go to flowers which happen to be connected to the rest of the plant. I think your background is a little busy and it takes a second to find the bee. Maybe next time you can try a different point of view, it seems that in this case, assuming the bee doesn't move, you could have moved to the right and a little bit lower and the bee would have been against the blurred background instead of against a stem. Also, getting lower might have given you some foreground bokeh (maybe?? just a thought). As it stands now, the bee does not pop out too much, so maybe you could try saturating the yellows a little (very little) more and desaturating other colors (very little also). Since there are yellow stems on the flowers, you could probably mask those out. Hope this helped
I agree with the comments made. The bee is the focus of this image, but it doesn't stand out from the flowers at all. A different viewpoint may have helped to outline the dark bee against some light flowers instead of blending in to the dark stems. I would crop off 3/4 of this image, leaving the bee in the top-right thirds point, so it's looking down into the image. Then dodge the bee to bring it out a little.