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This is another post that is a little overdue in being completed, but is part of my New Year resolution to get more content on the site.

The completed “Buzz at the Hive” image

Each year the Photographic Society of New Zealand publishes a hard copy book that profiles images submitted from its members. The number of submissions always exceed the available space so it is quite an achievement to get an image selected.  Each year the book includes a special section where your are asked to submit to a theme. The theme for the 2018 edition was “Kiwiana”.

For my overseas readers New Zealanders refer to themselves as “kiwis” (coming from our national bird and not the shorten version of kiwifruit). Kiwiana is a set of images that depict those things that we would instantly recognise as part of the culture.

When the theme was announced I know instantly what I wanted to submit. A classic Kiwi toy is a wooden pull-along called “Buzzy bee”, and our parliament building executive wing is called the Beehive. Therefore all I had to do was capturing buzz at the hive.

The Buzzy Bee

The process was relatively straight forward. I figured out the angle I wanted with the camera on a tripod and then shot a blank plate of the buildings. As I wanted the image reasonable in focus across a wide range the camera was set at f20. I had to take several images so i could remove the tourist who were milling around it.

The Parliament complex with the Beehive in the background

I had originally planned to attach the bee to a cross pole by way of fishing nylon, but my wife rightly pointed out that this would be very hard to control. We therefore settled on clamping it underneath to the boom pole. She then proceeded to wave the bee round as I took multiple shots.

Once back at the office I downloaded the images and then went through and worked out which worked best. It was then a relative simple matter of loading the images into a stack in Photoshop and masking out what I didn’t want. As the images had all been shot in the same location this was a relatively simple process with the only area requiring more work was were the pole had attached to the bee.

Then to make the image more realistic I add shadows to the ground under the bees closest to the camera.

I had high hopes that the image would be selected and was really pleased that it was. That made the third image selected over the years for the publication.