The fight-or-flight response.

Sunrise: 04.47    Sunset: 09.32

The process of looking through my camera viewfinder – usually when focusing on an insects, or waiting for my flash unit to recharge – must trick my brain into believing that I’m inhabiting another world. I am so intent on the task in hand, that I am not always aware of what’s happening around me. I’ve had many insects buzzing in my ears over the years, including bees and large flies, but they don’t trigger my usual alarm responses. The sensation is a little like listening to noises happening outside my house, whilst I’m sitting safely inside watching the television: the distant sounds don’t directly affect me. People have found me blocking their progress along a path and have ask politely to pass; in my state of deep concentration, I often don’t know that they are there until I lower my camera. Not even cows and horses nuzzling my back are enough to destroy my concentration; however, I do sometimes register annoyance at their intrusion.

Tonight, whilst shooting bees at one of Hoo Wood’s insect hot-spots, a hornet hovered directly above my head, but it didn’t concern me or interrupt my photography. In fact, the hornet may have dipped and tapped my hat a couple of times in an attempt to land. Under normal circumstances I am unable to ignore the loud drone of a big yellow hornet flying close to me. My brain told me not to worry, last night, because the hornet would soon go away, and it did.

So, photography is able to disable  my fight-or-flight response.

I think the hornet had mistaken my brown baseball cap for a bee nest and was trying to entice bees out of my head, or maybe my ears.


5 Comments on “The fight-or-flight response.

  1. I would have to have a very interesting sight in my viewfinder to ignore a hornet tapping on my head.

    • I have photographed many hornets close up, Tom, but this one puts the wind up me. I’m beginning to believe that this hornet might be something exotic.

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