Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hummingbirds-- A Work in Progress

Yesterday I stayed late after work to try and photograph the hummingbirds. We luckily have a pretty brazen little crew working three feeders at this building (maybe they know we are animal-friendly!), so it wasn't hard to get close. I opted for my macro lens, which I now regret since I think my mid-lens would have been slightly better. (I was thinking the macro would be great for bringing out the details in their feathers.)

Unfortunately, at 4:30 p.m., the feeder was already in the shade, with only the feeder in a ray of sunlight. I opted to go without the tripod, and stood as still as I could waiting for the hummingbirds to get used to me.

Luckily, it only took five minutes for that to happen, and they seemed as interested in me as I was in them. About three females and two males zoomed in and out. I concentrated on photos of them landing on the feeders, due to the lighting. (Since it was not as bright as I hoped, I needed to keep my shutter open longer. However, this downside means that the shutter speed couldn't be fast enough to stop-action their wings.)

As I clicked away, the birds took great interest in the sound my camera was making. Soon, one of the males got a great thrill of flying right past my right ear, almost daring me to move! Surprising myself, I didn't! (This is from the girl who will flail her arms and run away from the hum of bees--though I am getting better with bumblebees.)

While I'm not entirely 100 percent satisfied with what I captured, I am happy that my luck with hummingbird photos is improving. I think the ideal situation is to have the feeder in direct sunlight, in order for me to shoot quickly. And I really should break out that tripod, to take less pressure on NOT moving whatsoever.

I decided to desaturate these photos to a -32 value. I had best luck photographing the females.

Ah! The elusive hummingbird tongue!

A little stop action on the wings.

3 comments: said...

Those are some great shots.

Zoe Ann Hinds said...

If you are trying to get a good shot of a hummingbird at a feeder then this tip may help improve your shots.

You can dictate how the hummingbird will pose. You do this by plugging all the holes in the feeder except the one from which you want the hummingbird to feed from and as needed you rotate the feeder to get the desired position that you want for your shot.

If you would like much more information about hummingbirds, please click the links below. The sites contain many articles about hummingbirds, video clips about hummingbirds, an informative tips booklet on hummingbirds, and much more.

Click Here To Visit About Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds For Mom

Goose On The Loose said...

It was so nice to meet you at Project Puppy! Your work is so beautiful:) I'll tell you an amazing hummingbird story next time we meet!
Jen Grant / Goose
Goose On The Loose Jewelry
Here's a link to my blog by the way:)