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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Fw: Spring Photography

Date: Sun, 10 Mar 2013 15:46:52 -0700 (PDT)
To: Ken McCoy<>
Subject: Spring Photography

Copyright 2005 Paul Calkins

F stop 9 Shutter Speed 1/640 sec ISO 400 Focal Length 30mm

First Bee First Blossom

Hope all is going well, any new projects for you?  Have a great week!


Photographic Thoughts

Volume II


March 11, 2013


Spring Photography


By Paul Calkins © 2013


 A few years ago while in Atwater, California a little Central San Joaquin Valley town above Merced, I came upon a lone almond tree.   It sat near the county road on what was left of an old scruffy fence line that had once enclosed an orchard.  Down the road from this lonely tree, was a thriving almond orchard, pruned and aligned in perfect spacing. These domestic trees which were interspersed with bee hives and were just about finished with their all important bloom and proceed to leaf out and set fruit.   With a little rain, judicious irrigation and hard work, this orchard would provide a wonderful crop of delicious fruit.  In addition the bees would provide an addition product of sweet honey.


The un-kept tree was late arriving to the season; it was dressed in a beautiful white effusion.  It was these flowers that caught my attention, and also the fact that no one would care if I explored these tresses with my camera.  I began working the tree from various angles pushing into the interior.   I did notice that the auto focus seemed to be working at hyper speed.  I turned it off and adjusted the f-stop to achieve a shallow depth of field, and yet focus in on details of the blossom.    That was follow by the sudden realization that in my view finder I could see that I was surrounded by bees! After a moment of startled reflection, the sound of precisely tuned wings entered my psyche.  I was witnessing a hard working brood, going about their business, of loading up and mixing pollen with blossoms.   During this moment of terrified reflection, it occurred to me that I posed no threat, and caused a minimum of disruption of their activity and so was ignored.  I remained quiet and began to focus on and photograph the army of Apis mellifera.  I finished up, and cautiously backed away from the tree and made my way to my car.  None of the workers followed, and I called the session a success, there had been no painful encounters for either side.  I cannot say the same for some of the human meetings that I have been in.


Thanks for listening.