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Thread started 21 May 2014 (Wednesday) 11:04
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Hump Day Hummers - Neophyte in Action

 
CamFan01
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May 21, 2014 11:04 |  #1

I'll admit to being fairly new to the sub-addiction of Hummingbird photography, but after years of seeing wonderful images from the true pros I set out to test the waters.

The first group of 4 images were collected last Fall and show female and/or juvenile Ruby-throateds perched and hovering.

1.

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2.

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3. ISO 2000, 1/800th, f5.6, 6.5M

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4. ISO 2000, 1/800th, f5.6, 6.5M

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So this Spring I decided to put more effort into attracting Ruby-throated Hummingbirds and nearly over-planted my back deck. The result.....1 male as usual! Oh well, here he is. And Rog, these are for you my friend. I'll keep shooting and improving the rest of the year.....I hope.

5. ISO 800, 1/160th, f8, 3.5M

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6. ISO 800, 1/500th, f8, 3.2M

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7. ISO 800, 1/250th, f8, 3.2M

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It's still a pretty steep learning curve, but I'm encouraged by at least some results. I just wish I was covered up with hummers to allow more trial and error testing. I hope you've enjoyed my first efforts in hummer photography and will feel comfortable leaving kudos and critiques. Thanks for stopping by.

Steve
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LV ­ Moose
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May 21, 2014 11:17 |  #2

Beauties, especially the last three.


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Lester ­ Wareham
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May 21, 2014 13:06 |  #3

Beautiful shots Steve, looks like your hooked!


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ardeekay
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May 21, 2014 13:41 |  #4

Why Steve, I think I got a tear in my eye...for me? And a mighty fine series it is, too! Those are all very good, Steve. This year's show some soft bodies, but the head/eyes are tack sharp, always a priority as you know. Shallow DOF is something I think is hurting me, too. In your case, 600mm at f8 and 12' distance, the dof is .05' or about 3/4"! Increase the distance to 25' and dof goes to about 3".
That's according to my on-line calculator I found somewhere. So, I'm going to get out my Sigma and back up the next sunny day I get a chance.
Also, as a side note, my blue salvia attracted the hummers but kept breaking off as soon as a few blooms opened up on a single stem. Tried tying them up but the whole experience was a bit of a test.
Go get 'em, Buddy!!


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dasher108
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May 21, 2014 13:42 |  #5

Wow, those are real beauties!


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Don1
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May 21, 2014 15:24 |  #6

Some really great shots here Steve. 6 and 7 are especially captivating.


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May 21, 2014 15:35 as a reply to  @ dasher108's post |  #7

Hi Steve:

We all are new at shooting some forms of wild life photography. All in all, some nice captures and poses. I like your shooting angles, all are even to up. All are basically in focus.

I see all are images posted are in RGB, for web posting, sRGB looks better. You are shooting in aperture priority...try shooting manual. You will have greater control in a manual setting.

Your shutter speeds vary from a very slow 1/160 to 1/800. Perched shots in less than good light can work in this range but I find hovering shots in good to great light look better at ss speed > than 1/1000. I try to keep my shutter speeds 1/1600-1/2500. I have come away with great hovering shots in subdued light at 1/800 but my iso was elevated.

There will always be days where light fluctuates dramatically therefore your f-stop, iso and ss will have to change. I always try to keep one of the variables constant For example iso. 90% of my hummer shots are taken at ISO 1600, in less than good light 2000-2500.

f-stops between 6.3 to 7.1, sometimes 5.6 in poor light, a few times f8 in great light. I am still experimenting at f8.

A final thought watch your backgrounds, back grounds can kill a great capture.

Your #1, 5 and 6 are my favorites... Keep shooting. I hope to see more of your hummers.

ps: I am not suggesting you use my settings only the concept of consistency. You can pm anytime.


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CamFan01
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May 22, 2014 12:04 |  #8

LV Moose wrote in post #16919962 (external link)
Beauties, especially the last three.

Thank you Moose, me thinks you're being too kind.

Lester Wareham wrote in post #16920255 (external link)
Beautiful shots Steve, looks like your hooked!

Much appreciated Lester. I enjoy new challenges and this endeavor certainly qualifies.

ardeekay wrote in post #16920339 (external link)
Why Steve, I think I got a tear in my eye...for me? And a mighty fine series it is, too! Those are all very good, Steve. This year's show some soft bodies, but the head/eyes are tack sharp, always a priority as you know. Shallow DOF is something I think is hurting me, too. In your case, 600mm at f8 and 12' distance, the dof is .05' or about 3/4"! Increase the distance to 25' and dof goes to about 3".
That's according to my on-line calculator I found somewhere. So, I'm going to get out my Sigma and back up the next sunny day I get a chance.
Also, as a side note, my blue salvia attracted the hummers but kept breaking off as soon as a few blooms opened up on a single stem. Tried tying them up but the whole experience was a bit of a test.
Go get 'em, Buddy!!

Haha Rog, I knew you'd love it what with all your overly dominant female hummers! I have certain limitations with the "arena" I have, but it's clear I need to increase DOF. I appreciate your encouragement.....I think :)

dasher108 wrote in post #16920341 (external link)
Wow, those are real beauties!

Thanks for the kind comments dasher....hopefully more & better to come.

Don1 wrote in post #16920564 (external link)
Some really great shots here Steve. 6 and 7 are especially captivating.

Well Hi Don! So very nice to hear from you in such a pleasant way. Thanks kindly my friend.

TedEllis wrote in post #16920590 (external link)
Hi Steve:

We all are new at shooting some forms of wild life photography. All in all, some nice captures and poses. I like your shooting angles, all are even to up. All are basically in focus.

I see all are images posted are in RGB, for web posting, sRGB looks better. You are shooting in aperture priority...try shooting manual. You will have greater control in a manual setting.

Your shutter speeds vary from a very slow 1/160 to 1/800. Perched shots in less than good light can work in this range but I find hovering shots in good to great light look better at ss speed > than 1/1000. I try to keep my shutter speeds 1/1600-1/2500. I have come away with great hovering shots in subdued light at 1/800 but my iso was elevated.

There will always be days where light fluctuates dramatically therefore your f-stop, iso and ss will have to change. I always try to keep one of the variables constant For example iso. 90% of my hummer shots are taken at ISO 1600, in less than good light 2000-2500.

f-stops between 6.3 to 7.1, sometimes 5.6 in poor light, a few times f8 in great light. I am still experimenting at f8.

A final thought watch your backgrounds, back grounds can kill a great capture.

Your #1, 5 and 6 are my favorites... Keep shooting. I hope to see more of your hummers.

ps: I am not suggesting you use my settings only the concept of consistency. You can pm anytime.

Wow Ted, you've given me quite a homework assignment! All great info and many thanks for your comments and sharing these ideas. I'm sure I'll find a way to use them all.


Steve
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SJC ­ from ­ VT
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May 22, 2014 13:23 |  #9

Looks like you are off to a good start this spring. Great advice given here that I shall copy and paste!


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2n10
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May 22, 2014 15:58 |  #10

Well done Steve.


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May 22, 2014 16:17 |  #11

Excellent job Steve! I too would love to try my hand at Hummingbirds but I have to get them to come here first! :)


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May 22, 2014 16:53 |  #12

Well I see you are doing great. I really like the last two. I am looking forward to seeing more.:)


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jodelak
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May 22, 2014 17:47 |  #13

These are stunning collections Steve, honestly I dont see a neophyte in these :) The last 3 are absolutely fantastic shots!


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May 22, 2014 20:10 |  #14

These are nice shots. And there is indeed a lot of great information here. Thanks Steve, Rog and Ted for sharing.


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May 22, 2014 22:08 |  #15

Steve, you call these captures "testing the waters?"
Surely you jest.
Fabulous.


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Hump Day Hummers - Neophyte in Action
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