Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Frequent Flyers

The closer you get to a bird in flight with a camera, the more difficult it is to keep them in the frame. And, because of other factors, the harder it is to keep them in focus. So, there are a lot of discards when it comes to filming hummingbirds.

Even though they are hovering, focusing on them is not that easy. Just about the time you find them in the viewfinder and are ready to press the shutter, they have moved away from the feeder or maybe they have moved in to take a sip.

Because their wings move so fast, many different stances are potentially possible with the bird moving very little, but many images are thrown out because the wings can look so odd — or be invisible almost entirely.

In a perfect world, every wing would be starkly sharp and no movement would be detectable but, in truth, that takes a phenomenal amount of light which can completely wash out the colors.

I have used supplemental flash a time or two, but I don't particularly like the look. The goal is to only use enough to lighten the image so that the viewer is not aware that flash was used. Flash often shows up in the eyes, however, and it is not pretty.

They have been saving up their frequent flyer miles all summer and pretty soon, they will be taking a red eye out of here for points south. Seems like they only came into town yesterday...

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