When looking from afar, all bees look the same. But just like they’re complex and intelligent creatures, they also look different from each other. Photographer and drone operator Josh Forwood wanted to show these differences, so he took a series of macro bee portraits. His photos let us meet bees up close (and I mean, really close) and see how different their little faces really are.
Like most of us, Josh was hit by the pandemic measures. When he returned from a job, he was in quarantine, so he wanted to use his time at home in a good and creative way. So, he built a “bee hotel” from bamboo tubes in his garden. This isn’t only good for the bees, but it allowed him to take some awesome portraits of these little buzzers.
In fact, Josh encourages everyone to make their own bee hotels. “Bees around the world are in trouble,” he writes, “but those in urbanised areas are especially under threat.” Rapid urbanization is destroying their homes and putting them in serious danger. And I believe we all know that killing the bees will put the whole ecosystem in big trouble.
Although most of us believe that bees live in hives, the truth is quite different. There are over 20,000 species of them, and 90% of all bees are solitary, as Josh explains. “They create homes out of small holes in the natural world,” adds Josh. So, these bee hotels help the solitary bees in your area find their own home. Here’s how you can make one of your own:
To take the photos, Josh relied on his Panasonic GH5s, a 100mm f/2.8 Canon macro lens with a Metabones adapter, and a field monitor. Some of these shots are single exposures, and the others are focus-stacked. As for the lighting, it was all done in natural light. I think it was a great choice since this is what gave the photos this dramatic, contrasty lighting. And it looks like the bees were more than willing to pose while sitting in their little bamboo hotel rooms, so Josh ended up with truly beautiful macro portraits.