I’ve known for awhile that my photography has been slipping. Back when I was taking courses, I used to fuss with aperture, speed, lenses, filters. Anything to get the right picture. Now, I tend to keep the camera on the semi-automatic Aperture Priority mode, doing not much more than pointing and clicking. But a few days ago, I decided to take my tripod out of its dusty corner, replace my trusty kit lens with either the telephoto or the macro lens and see if I could get some good shots of hummingbirds and bees.

It was probably a mistake to get obsessed with the little fellow above who always hangs out on the tallest tree overlooking our little pond. Even with a telephoto lens, he was too far away to get much of anything. Although I did catch him in midflight.

Here's the closest shot I could get of him and it shows nothing of his coloring.

There were hundreds of bees on the Pride of Madera, but this was the only half-way decent shot I could get.

Then John the Baptist showed up with a little Kodak point-and-shoot so ancient that they don’t even make SD cards for it any more.

“Hey, I got some pretty good shots of hummingbirds and bees while I was working,” he said, “Wanna take a look.”

Like this one of a bee with his head in a flower.

Or how about this one?

When it came to the hummingbirds, it got even better:

Can you imagine how close he was with a point and shoot to get this shot?

And how about this one? Perfectly framed or what?

Shall we get a little closer?

Look at those colors!

You might think that the lesson here is that equipment is immaterial if you have the eye. I’m proclaiming a different lesson: If you are handicapped with two yapping terriers at your heels, you’ll never get a good nature shot.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!