First Hummingbird post, but not my first Hummingbird images

Marc LangilleMarc Langille Advanced... something.Posts: 58Registered Users Big grins
edited September 13, 2008 in Wildlife
In the spirit of these aerial acrobats and their many talents, I thought I'd share a few (from last year). I was worried I was getting rusty, since this is only the second time I've really been serious about photographing them.

Some cropping, so I've included the original (cropped) image dimensions with the EXIF info as a reference. Please forgive some of the compression artifacts on the background areas.

"Avian Beauty":
368615519_gcv23-XL.jpg
EXIF:
Exposure Time 0.002s (1/500)
Aperture f/6.7
ISO 200
Focal Length 300mm (450mm 35mm)
Photo Dimensions 2024 x 1450


"Prepare for Landing":
368823333_oWYZA-XL.jpg
EXIF:
Exposure Time 0.002s (1/500)
Aperture f/6.7
ISO 200
Focal Length 300mm (450mm 35mm)
Photo Dimensions 2290 x 1866


"Mid-Flight Capture":
368615302_eXw84-XL.jpg
EXIF:
Exposure Time 0.002s (1/500)
Aperture f/6.7
ISO 200
Focal Length 300mm (450mm 35mm)
Photo Dimensions 2778 x 1866

I hope you enjoy these images!

Regards,
Marc

Comments

  • CatoCato point, shoot, pray Posts: 287Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 8, 2008
    Absolutely superb, detailed images! Sorry I can't be more constructive than that, but they really are splendid. biggrinbounce2.gif
    http://catographer.smugmug.com/

    Shooter on a shoestring.
  • jonh68jonh68 Major grins Posts: 2,711Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 8, 2008
  • MaestroMaestro Amateur at best :-) Posts: 5,395Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 8, 2008
    Extremely well done, crisp, sharp with great color! thumb.gif
  • Northwest29Northwest29 Beginner grinner Posts: 2Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited September 8, 2008
    Marc,

    What super & clear detail of the neck and body feathers!! thumb.gif thumb.gif thumb.gif I'm very surprised that you shot this at 1/500.

    Please give us some detail about where you were and how you captured these wonderful shots.

    Ron
  • Marc LangilleMarc Langille Advanced... something. Posts: 58Registered Users Big grins
    edited September 8, 2008
    Cato wrote:
    Absolutely superb, detailed images! Sorry I can't be more constructive than that, but they really are splendid. biggrinbounce2.gif
    Thanks Cato! Better than destructive... :D

    That didn't include the 1-2 weeks of acclimating the birds to my presence... :):

    Regards,
    Marc
  • Marc LangilleMarc Langille Advanced... something. Posts: 58Registered Users Big grins
    edited September 8, 2008
    Jonh68 and Maestro:

    Thanks and glad you like them! There are no changes whatsoever to the RAW files (other than default ACR values when opening the RAW image).

    Regards,
    Marc
  • dlplumerdlplumer Major grins Posts: 8,028Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 8, 2008
    The best hummer shots I have ever seen bowdown.gif clap.gif
  • Marc LangilleMarc Langille Advanced... something. Posts: 58Registered Users Big grins
    edited September 8, 2008
    thanks, and some explanation
    Marc,

    What super & clear detail of the neck and body feathers!! thumb.gif thumb.gif thumb.gif I'm very surprised that you shot this at 1/500.

    Please give us some detail about where you were and how you captured these wonderful shots.

    Ron
    Hi Ron,

    First off, thank you for the kind words!

    Understand that I am a relative "rookie" in terms of bird photography - I've been shooting seriously on a continuous basis for barely over a year. I started in mid-2006 and took these images in 2007. However, I studied hard and practiced a lot (I believe in old school values). Believe it or not, this is mid-range shutter speed for me - I normally shoot between 1/350 and 1/500. Sometimes I'll hit 1/750 -1/1000, but normally no higher. Reason is that I prefer some wing blur, get the head/eyes in sharp focus, yet the wings and body clearly show movement.

    Depending on the situation and light levels, I may EV -1/3 to -2/3 to avoid blowing out the feather details on the chest. Normally I shoot AV mode or M mode when photographing most everything (not just birds). I rarely shoot anything else, since I want as much control of the final image in the camera, and as little work afterward on the computer. I don't trust most DSLR cameras to do it correctly (the 18% gray exposure rule/issue). However, if I owned a D3 or MK II/III body, that might change things... a bit... mwink.gif

    It took me approx. 1-2 weeks to completely acclimate the birds. I was stationed between the areas they fed, and was close to the MFD of the lens - perhaps 7 feet away. Of course, getting "special presents" from the hummers on was an ongoing hazard!

    These are all taken in my front garden. FWIW, I have a regular attendance of 15-30 hummers almost all the time between late April -> early September. Now I still have around 15 or so, and they'll stick around until the cool nights kick in here in Arkansas. This makes my shooting much, much easier! I often used an OOF tree or bush/grass/lawn to provide the clean backgrounds. I intentionally setup the angles so I have a very clean background or minimal distractions. This is the same way I shoot macro (which is what I learned first when going to digital in 2006). Of course, the 300mm lens I am using has a relatively narrow FOV (like my 200/4 macro), so that characteristic only makes the shot easier. It's only 5 degrees FOV on a DSLR. My keeper rate (approaching this sort of image clarity) from the last image ended up exceeding 60% on my last try. I didn't use focus trap, just old school "eye in the viewfinder" and patience for the shot. Luckily the lens' AF is quite fast, made possible by a focus limiter switch.

    If I have missed something, please let me know and I'll do my best to answer your questions. I can also dig up some shots of the setup if needed - it's just old school, nothing fancy.

    Regards,
    Marc
  • Ric GrupeRic Grupe Hampshire Prairie Posts: 9,522Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 8, 2008
    #2 is the sharpest bird...but the other two have a better background...IMO.

    All are excellent! thumb.gif
  • Marc LangilleMarc Langille Advanced... something. Posts: 58Registered Users Big grins
    edited September 9, 2008
    dlplumer wrote:
    The best hummer shots I have ever seen bowdown.gif clap.gif

    Hi Dan,

    Thank you for the kind words! Not sure if it's that good...headscratch.gif, but thank you all the same... :cool

    Regards,
    Marc
  • theNOIZtheNOIZ Digital-Grin-A-Rific Posts: 272Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 11, 2008
    Wow. Just-- wow!
    bowdown.gif
  • summerzsummerz Major grins Posts: 494Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 11, 2008
    Those are excellent.iloveyou.gif bowdown.gif
  • NorthernFocusNorthernFocus Ignorance is truly bliss. Posts: 1,347Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 11, 2008
    Really nice images thumb.gif And thanks for expounding on your technique. Great job setting up your shot, controlling background, etc. Heck that first image looks like a studio shot clap.gif Personally I like the amount of wing blur that you've achieved with the 1/500 shutter speed. Hummers work both ways for me, wings blurred or frozen. Both work and create different images.

    Thanks for sharing.
    Dan

    My Photo Gallery:Northern Focus Photography
    I wish I was half the man that my dog thinks I am...
  • Marc LangilleMarc Langille Advanced... something. Posts: 58Registered Users Big grins
    edited September 13, 2008
    theNOIZ wrote:
    bowdown.gif

    Thanks NOIZ!!!!

    Here's a crop of #2:
    368615782_L6Z4z-XL-1.jpg

    Somehow the link showed the above crop in the original post, so I've corrected it - the original image is now back in the original post. Ooops... ne_nau.gif

    Regards,
    Marc
  • SkippySkippy Forensic Wannabe Posts: 12,075Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 13, 2008
    In the spirit of these aerial acrobats and their many talents, I thought I'd share a few (from last year). I was worried I was getting rusty, since this is only the second time I've really been serious about photographing them.

    Some cropping, so I've included the original (cropped) image dimensions with the EXIF info as a reference. Please forgive some of the compression artifacts on the background areas.

    "Avian Beauty":

    "Prepare for Landing":

    "Mid-Flight Capture":

    I hope you enjoy these images!

    Regards,
    Marc

    Marc, these are stunning shots clap.gif
    They're so sharp, with such lovely detail.

    Your patience has really paid off with the birds.
    Excellent Series thumb.gif ... Skippy :D
    .
    .
    Skippy (Australia) - Moderator of "HOLY MACRO" and "OTHER COOL SHOTS"

    ALBUM http://ozzieskip.smugmug.com/

    :skippy Everyone has the right to be stupid, but some people just abuse the privilege :dgrin
  • GiphsubGiphsub Major grins Posts: 2,684Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 13, 2008
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