07 Feb 13. By now all of you must be aware that I love to shoot insects in the wild, and in particular, bees. Should you be wondering why bees, it is because they are so active and attempting to get the perfect shot of a bee in action is a major challenge for me, one which I doubt I'll ever achieve because as I get better (luckier) at it I raise my own standards. That gives me a life long challenge. Getting an acceptable shot for me now requires far more work than it did say 10 years previous. Now, getting the acceptable shot on a favorite flower is an even better challenge, and the Canadian or Canada Thistle, Cirsium arvense, which grows freely over our septic system, just happens to be among my favorite flowers, even if it is considered as being a bit invasive and called, among other things, the Lettuce from Hell Thistle. Now to find one in full bloom with a bee or two climbing on the blossom is nothing short of a gift, so when I saw such in the back yard last summer, I couldn't resist. I got a couple dozen shots before the players parted company, among them the image for today, but they all suffered from harsh lighting. Now I suppose that I might have employed a device of any of several kinds to soften the light, but I didn't think the bees would hang around long enough for that to work and the possibility that such a device might scare them off also figured into the equation of working with what I had. I've dodged the base of the flower a bit to bring out its texture which was basically lost in the original and burned in a couple of hot areas, typical darkroom procedures, but that's about all that was done except for some cropping. D300s; 18 - 200' Aperture Priority; ISO 200; 1/250 sec @ f /10.