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Shooting Humming Birds (with A Camera)

13 years ago

I've been shooting these graceful little creatures for the past few years and want to share some of my tips with you for getting good photos of these guys. First and far most, the key to getting good photos of humming birds, as any of you that has photographed them know, is patience. Sometimes you have to wait a while between their visits. But, if you feed them they will come. I've found they are most active in the early morning hours and late afternoon in our area, central Texas, but they do visit our feeders throughout the day. My setup for getting decent shots of hummers consists of a good sturdy tripod, a wide range telephoto lens and a radio controlled remote trigger. With this setup you can setup your equipment close to your most visited feeder, lock you focus and retreat to your patio, deck or porch with a cup of coffee and just wait for them to arrive. If your camera has a burst mode all the better. You can get multiple images as they fly in towards the feeder. (Burst mode:camera will shoot image after image as long as the shutter button is depressed.) One thing I've discovered is that hummers do not like camera flash, at least the ones that visit our feeders don't. You may get one good shot with a flash, but they will bolt and not return for a while. Why would you use a flash? Well, if you use your flash as a fill to add light it will enhance detail in the shadows such as under the wings. I still use flash if I am photographing as the sun is going down and shadows are long across the yard, but find it best to shoot in early morning or late afternoon when there's plenty of direct sunlight. I love photographing hummers and do all summer long until they leave the area for warmer areas in the fall.

Here are a few of my images.

Not sure what type this guy is. First time I've seen one with a purple throat at our feeder. He stayed just out of focus range during his visit. Does anyone know the species?

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