Solvin has worked as a wildlife photographer for 20 years and focuses on presenting small and overlooked species in fresh new ways. See more of his work at www.solvinzankl.com
1 GO LOW
Wide angle images usually contain a lot of detail. In this case, the frenetic activity of a swarm. To counter the clutter, I crouched down lower than the main bees in the image to incorporate a decent slice of blue-sky background.
2 LIGHT IT UP
To create a natural feel when lighting a shot, I usually use at least three flashguns. For this image, I used six. I attached three small flash units to the camera to lighten the shadows, then positioned three larger flashguns in a triangle around the bees. The flashes breathe life into the photo, creating reflections on the wings, making the leaves appear to catch the sun and emphasising the delicate fringing on the insects’ hairy bodies.
3 FIDDLE WITH THE FLASHES
It’s a good idea to turn the flashes on one by one and take test shots as you go. Set each flash to manual and reduce the individual brightness until you are happy with the exposure. This will ensure that details such as the wings aren't overly lit.
4 DEEP FIELDING
To incorporate the green field in the background as well as the close-up bees, I needed as large a depth of field as possible. To achieve this, I set my camera to manual and selected a high aperture.
5 IN THE DETAIL
There is a lot to take in with this image, from the extreme close-up bees to those zipping around in the distance. The more you look, the more you see. I love the effect of the insects frozen in flight, which gives a real sense of their movements, and how the main cluster of bees plays with your sense of perspective.
FIND OUT MORE
For more photo advice visit www.discoverwildlife.com/ wildlife-nature-photography/ tips-and-techniques