May 27th, 2011 – Avian Friday: Anna’s Hummnigbird

The hummingbird is certainly not one of the most easily  photographed birds, especially while they are in flight.  Here are a few tips that can increase the odds of  creating nice captures of them.

1. Patience – as with most bird photography there’s usually a fair amount  of waiting involved. Its not often one can just walk right up to a “hummer” and start snapping photos. If you can find an area that they have been frequenting there’s a good chance they will return there again. I often find myself playing the waiting game in a lot of my bird imagery, but then I also have the patience of a fisherman.

2. Understanding their behavior – this is a key for any type of wildlife photography. The more you know about the subject;  what they feed on, what times of day they tend to feed, what their nesting/breeding behaviors are, etc., will give a better opportunity to anticipate where you need to be to capture the image. Often times these behaviors can become predictable and are invaluable in helping you get the image.

3. Fast apertures & fast shutter speeds – generally these are necessary when shooting Hummers. While there are several flash set-ups that can be very effective, natural light techniques require high shutter speeds. Especially if you are trying to “freeze” the wing action of these little speed demons. I’ve found that speeds of 1/3200th to 1/4000/second are effective in this scenario. Generally, the faster  the lens used, the easier it is to obtain those higher shutter speeds. Often times though some wing blurring can help convey a sense of motion providing a nice touch to the image.

View of an Anna’ s Hummingbird.  Irvine, California

Canon 1D Mark III, Canon EF-500/f4 IS , 500mm,  f/4.5, 1/1600th Sec, ISO 200, Hand-held. Post processing -Lightroom 3, Photoshop CS5.

To see a larger version  please click on the images.

Feel free to comment below if you like what you see or have any other observations.

Thanks for stopping by,



3 thoughts on “May 27th, 2011 – Avian Friday: Anna’s Hummnigbird

  1. Beyond amazing Jay – I told Nonnette and Mom about this and will show them your pictures – they think your work is wonderful and so do I. I don’t know how it is even possible you can get a picture like this!

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