A bumble bee taking it's final breaths. I found it on a stand of our garden fence. It was alive, when I brougth a leaf close to it, it moved it's antennas, but it didn't move anymore. You can see that on these pictures it couldn't even keep the antennas up. I didn't have the heart to end this suffering however - maybe it was only very, very tired - even that I don't believe it myself, I rather want to think it was just that.
Taken with the EF-S 60mm Macro lens mounted on a EOS 350D (Rebel XT). I took two series of shots, one with ISO 100 and f/2.8 and one with ISO 800 at and shutter priority at 1/50 s (allowing f/6.3 to f/11) - I usually forget to boost the ISO settings, most probably because this wasn't possible when shooting film. To get as close as possible I set the focus to 1:1 and turned off autofocus. Then I moved as close as possible to the bumble bee. As this is uncropped, you can see all the details of this bumble bee in 8 MPix in the original size.
#46 on Explore (May 19, 2006)