The first frame is from last year, and the last two are recent shots.
Technique: It was early in the morning and this Wool Carder Bee was having a tough time getting its metabolism going. I was holding onto the stem of that flower with my left index finger and thumb, and resting the lens on that same hand to keep everything steady. The bee would occasionally move, and when it stopped I'd roll the flower's stem with my fingers to turn the critter toward the camera and look for a composition. This style of shooting is well within my comfort zone.
Tech Specs: Canon 70D (F14, 1/250, ISO 100) + a Canon MP-E 65mm macro lens (around 3x) + a diffused MT-24EX. This is a single, uncropped, frame taken hand held.
Last year I started mixing natural light (for the background) and flash (for the subject) so I could shoot in more conditions and to go after hyperactive targets. Toward the end of the year I realized that my real goal was to not have a comfort zone, so that only rain will keep me from shooting.
Technique: I used a syringe to place some artificial nectar on these flowers so the critters would have a reason to let me get close. I set the camera to expose for the natural light in the background and had the flash set to E-TTL mode and let the camera expose the subject with it. Due to the windy conditions I set the shutter speed at 1/250 and the ISO to 400.
Tech Specs: Canon 70D (F11, 1/250, ISO 400) + a Canon MP-E 65mm macro lens (over 1x) + a diffused MT-24EX. This is a single, uncropped, frame taken hand held. [IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/DAGMAT]Feeding Honeybee VII by John Kimbler, on Flickr [IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/EsUPP4]Baited Bumblebee Series 2-1 by John Kimbler, on Flickr