Assignment: Capay Farms, Hamilton City, Ca. Our goal was to shoot the owner Dan working with a foreman in the field, Dan working with the bees and then back to Dan’s office.
We wanted to shoot Dan with his foreman on the ranch. Spring color, early morning light put them into several different positions, long shot or up close, just cover your bases. I do like this perspective.
We move in closer, shoot wide open to throw the background out of focus. What you do not see is when this image is blown up there are bees in the sky and bees flying around Dan and his foreman. I actually thought that my camera sensor was dirty, it was millions of bees flying around.
Here is Dan looking into the bee hives, let’s say I was amazed no protective clothing. My first time around bees, I left my car door open so if the bees decided to go after me, I had a safe place to go.
I kind of had to work as a photo journalist, pick the spots and shoot. I had Ken Monnens as my art director, excellent working with him, I had him holding a radio controlled flash for most of these shots.
Happy bees and just the right amount of fill light to it does not look like it is lighted. I bring the kitchen sink with lots of equipment when I go on location. I wanted to put up a 9×9 silk to diffuse the hard light, but it was to windy to use, it would have softened the hard light on the right side of their faces.
I was just amazed with all the bees flying around. I asked Ken what do you do with all of the honey? He said the bees use all of the honey, that some hard working bees. After I got back to the studio and looked at the images, the only thing I might have done different would be shoot some of this in high speed sync, this would have allowed me to use a shutter speed that would freeze the bees in flight. That would mean I would have to go out a buy a new camera to be able to sync at higher shutter speeds of over 250 of a second, just not possible this time.
I used Ken the art director to test my lighting, then we carefully cleaned and propped our set.Here we have Ken in our final shot. I shot the screens separate, dropped in the images into the final composition.