Thursday, September 11, 2014

If You Saw It, You Didn't Get It

You cannot film a hummingbird taking off. They do not give
any warning of their intention, but simply take off.

There is probably no better example of this rule (the blog title) than hummingbirds. They can pack a lot of living into a second. To even stop the motion of their wings, for example, I regularly shoot north of 1/4000th of a second. Sometimes, that is not even fast enough. Think about it. A second divided into 4000 parts and one of those is not enough to freeze the motion of their wings!

Every picture you shoot of a hummingbird is, by definition, a chance shot. That is because it is not humanly possible to react fast enough to keep up with them. By the time you press the shutter, they have gotten married and had three children.

Their speed is the main reason for this phenomena but there is another technical excuse. The very instant the camera captures the image, the shutter is closed, meaning you cannot see what you just shot. It is a trait of all single lens reflex cameras. (There are other newer designs such as electronic view finders that try to get around this problem, but those solutions all have their own set of problems.)

This image so reminds me of one of the largest birds of prey I see on
the river rather than one of the smallest birds in the animal kingdom.

You may look at some of these pictures and say, "Wow, you sure are some kind of photographer!" Well, no I'm not. When I pressed the shutter, they were just sitting there! The hummingbirds just do stuff that makes me look like I'm a good photographer.

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