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Hummingbird shots from today (2)
Lens: DA* 300mm Camera: K20D Photo Location: Bay Area ISO: 1600 Shutter Speed: 1/1000s Aperture: F6.7 
Posted By: SanMat, 09-21-2010, 10:12 PM

Shot on tripod.

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09-21-2010, 10:15 PM   #2
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Second shot is nice. Might experiment a little bit with some cropping (more of a "thirds" placement), but that is just my personal preference.
09-22-2010, 06:57 AM   #3
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Nice, especially the second shot.
I don't do hummers much, but here's a friendly, hopefully helpful suggestion of method from someone in my local camera club who takes outstanding photos of all kinds, including stunning pictures of hummers. Get a really nice red flower, put it in a small holder with water out at an ideal spot to attract & photograph your hummers (can use a light stand or just a pole driven into the ground; the little plastic reservoirs that florists sometimes put on rose stems are ideal flower holders - can be attached at the tip of light stand or pole with a rubber band). Set up flashes ahead of time, including a slave triggered unit behind to give some rim lighting to the bird. Use an eyedropper to place your usual sugar water mix into the flower. This will give: perfect illumination; perfect position of the bird, high speed capture; and a lovely flower to enhance the image instead of a plastic feeder. To some, such preparation may seem contrived, but is is no more so than using a plastic feeder to attract the birds. How may of us has sat beside wild growing flowers to photograph a hummer? I once tried it with some woodland cardinal flowers (Lobelia cardinalis) that I observed hummers visiting. Long-long wait, not a bird returned. The birds are more likely to visit your flower if they're accustomed to being fed nearby at the plastic feeder.
By the way, the friend from whom I learned - but haven't used - this technique uses a H'blad to get 1/500 flash synch, so 100% of the lighting is flash, recording on chromes that are manual cut/cropped to super-slide size for projection, or are used for prints that he sells at his studio.
09-22-2010, 07:56 AM   #4
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Thanks - the more I look at it I tend to agree with you. Probably a bit too much dead space on the right side of that one. It's also my favorite of the two. I like the capture of the first one, but it's a little soft.



QuoteOriginally posted by str8talk83 Quote
Second shot is nice. Might experiment a little bit with some cropping (more of a "thirds" placement), but that is just my personal preference.


09-22-2010, 08:03 AM   #5
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Thanks for all the comments. Always looking for good suggestions - these are definitely helpful. At the moment the setup is pretty basic - camera on tripod in catch-in-focus (trap focus) mode, and the feeder with the neighbor's tree behind it. As to the additional set up items - in time those will be added, as I get more room. In my current condo, my porch is my front yard, so currently no real room for a more complicated set up unless I want the camera about a foot away from the bird feeder. In my next place I'll have more room to get more creative. Also agree re: the feeder - would much rather have actual flowers, so those too will be incorporated in the future. Will definitely keep your comments for my notes. Thanks again.

Pete


QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
Nice, especially the second shot.
I don't do hummers much, but here's a friendly, hopefully helpful suggestion of method from someone in my local camera club who takes outstanding photos of all kinds, including stunning pictures of hummers. Get a really nice red flower, put it in a small holder with water out at an ideal spot to attract & photograph your hummers (can use a light stand or just a pole driven into the ground; the little plastic reservoirs that florists sometimes put on rose stems are ideal flower holders - can be attached at the tip of light stand or pole with a rubber band). Set up flashes ahead of time, including a slave triggered unit behind to give some rim lighting to the bird. Use an eyedropper to place your usual sugar water mix into the flower. This will give: perfect illumination; perfect position of the bird, high speed capture; and a lovely flower to enhance the image instead of a plastic feeder. To some, such preparation may seem contrived, but is is no more so than using a plastic feeder to attract the birds. How may of us has sat beside wild growing flowers to photograph a hummer? I once tried it with some woodland cardinal flowers (Lobelia cardinalis) that I observed hummers visiting. Long-long wait, not a bird returned. The birds are more likely to visit your flower if they're accustomed to being fed nearby at the plastic feeder.
By the way, the friend from whom I learned - but haven't used - this technique uses a H'blad to get 1/500 flash synch, so 100% of the lighting is flash, recording on chromes that are manual cut/cropped to super-slide size for projection, or are used for prints that he sells at his studio.
09-22-2010, 07:58 PM   #6
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Pete, it's a great start!

FWIW, I also published an article on attracting hummingbirds here on PF. Hopefully it can be of some use to you and anyone else!

Best,
Marc
09-23-2010, 07:11 AM   #7
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Hi Marc,

Thanks for the kind words. I'll take a look at that. Just have the basic set up at the moment. Looking forward to when I have a bit more room and a more "natural" setting. All in good time. I think the resolution out of the DA 300 is pretty good though eventually I may get something larger so I can be more discreet. The birds do notice the sound of the shutter. Unfortunately my K7 is in for service so I'm using my K20D. Looking forward to getting that back to cut down on the noise.

Pete



QuoteQuote:
Pete, it's a great start!

FWIW, I also published an article on attracting hummingbirds here on PF. Hopefully it can be of some use to you and anyone else!

Best,
Marc
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