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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Birds 
Thread started 08 Sep 2013 (Sunday) 20:28
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hummingbirds

 
Shackleton
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Sep 08, 2013 20:28 |  #1

Found a colony out at my in-laws' farm today, probably 20-25 birds. All of them looked to be females(or maybe juvenile males. None had red throat patches). These guys are the toughest critter I've ever tried to shoot. I was also amazed at how aggressive they are toward each other. It seemed like each bird had staked out 5-6 flowers and if there was any variation the fight was on.

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WhenIWake
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Sep 08, 2013 20:50 |  #2

They all kinda look OOF or soft to me :(


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2n10
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Sep 08, 2013 20:53 |  #3

Congrats on the find. Yes they are either females or juvies.


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Jeff_56
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Sep 09, 2013 04:41 |  #4
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Just so you don't feel alone I'll post one of my own "soft" hummingbird shots. It's a female too. For some reason it's very hard to get the feathers of these birds to show up anything except soft. I've tried a lot of things and they all seem to look this way. I know some people are getting better shots. It must be better equipment I guess or maybe I'm just dumb as a donut and can't do it right. Nah, can't be that. :) I suppose I could have a focus problem or maybe it's just that I was shooting from too far away. It's hard to focus on these critters because of their diminutive size. My eyes just don't pick them up well through a lens. At least not at 12 feet away which is the distance I shot this photo. Also notice the tree limb is sharper even though it's covered in a thick spiderweb. I shot a bunch of photos and this was the best one if that tells you anything. But I've gotten much closer shots and they weren't sharp either. The head and beak don't look so bad but there's something about those feathers that makes it tough to get a good photo (for me anyway). I guess I've been shooting stills and video of them for years and I can never get it to work well. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I went back and did a little sharpening in post for the second version here. It made the feathers look a little better and the limb was sharper too. But the background was too grainy along with some other areas of the image. One obvious fault of this image was the ISO was set too high. I had been using the camera's auto exposure mode to get better light in a dark area and it set the ISO way too high for this photo. But I've taken others that didn't have the high ISO and they didn't look that much different than these in that they're always too soft. Go figure.

IMAGE: http://www.a-framevideo.com/hummingbird%20a2%20Sep%207%202013.jpg

IMAGE: http://www.a-framevideo.com/hummingbird%20a3%20Sep%207%202013.jpg



  
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TedEllis
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Sep 09, 2013 06:56 |  #5

Shackleton wrote in post #16280047 (external link)
Found a colony out at my in-laws' farm today, probably 20-25 birds. All of them looked to be females(or maybe juvenile males. None had red throat patches). These guys are the toughest critter I've ever tried to shoot. I was also amazed at how aggressive they are toward each other. It seemed like each bird had staked out 5-6 flowers and if there was any variation the fight was on.
QUOTED IMAGE
IMAGE LINK: http://s252.photobucke​t.com …mer4_zps8b8b932​3.jpg.html  (external link)

QUOTED IMAGE
IMAGE LINK: http://s252.photobucke​t.com …mer3_zps6aa0449​e.jpg.html  (external link)

QUOTED IMAGE
IMAGE LINK: http://s252.photobucke​t.com …mer2_zps3430a3f​1.jpg.html  (external link)

QUOTED IMAGE
IMAGE LINK: http://s252.photobucke​t.com …mer1_zps0ab9d6e​5.jpg.html  (external link)

These are of a juvi male.


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Shackleton
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Sep 09, 2013 07:30 |  #6

Yeah, they do show a bit softer on here-probably a bit over cropped, plus the old issue that everything seems softer on photobucket. Better luck next time I guess.




  
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Flo
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Sep 09, 2013 08:54 as a reply to  @ Shackleton's post |  #7

Play with the settings.I most always have the ISO at 400 and AV f/5.6..it captures them even when moving.


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Shackleton
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Sep 09, 2013 11:16 |  #8

Thanks for the advice.




  
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TedEllis
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Sep 09, 2013 12:14 |  #9

Shackleton wrote in post #16281662 (external link)
Thanks for the advice.

Yes play with the settings. My hummers shots ISO 800-1600, f6.3-f8, ss 1/1000-1/2500 sec.

Good luck.


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Jeff_56
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Sep 09, 2013 17:00 |  #10
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My problem with going with a wider aperture is that it can only work so well in the woods where I'm taking most of my photos. But even still I've gotten other photos in the same area that were very sharp but again there seems to be something about the feathers of hummingbirds that has my camera stumped. And when I adjust the ISO down I can't get the light bright enough or fast enough to catch the wings in motion to get the photos I want.

So I guess my question is about the light where you're taking your shots Shackleton. Is there plenty of light there? I ask because you seem to be having some of the same issues I have. More light means a faster shutter obviously and less need for a high ISO. I suspect that's my problem. Could that be part of your problem too?

BTW I also have a seriously over-cropped image here. Those are tiny little critters and I only seem to be able to get close when they're at a feeder. And that doesn't make for a great image.




  
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Shackleton
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Sep 09, 2013 17:49 |  #11

The light was "iffy". One minute cloudy and with no warning it would be great for a few seconds. One of those days where we could get a downpour at any moment. I should have messed with settings some more, kept it at my settings that give me the best luck with bigger birds(Av 9, ISO 400). Today would be the day to be out there but have other things planned. Too bad, too, the light has been great most of the day.

By bigger birds I mean sizes ranging from the dickcissels I posted the other day on up to eagles. Looks like my biggest mistake was overestimating how good the light was.




  
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