Sunday, August 21, 2011


Looks like hummingbirds are on the way South and I am having fun with my Canon Rebel T1i camera and my long lenses. Although I am fairly new to digital SLR camera I am an old hand with a regular SLR, something like 35 years, thousands of slides and so much time spent in my darkroom it is wonder that I didn’t develop night vision just like owls have. What an incredible invention digital camera is! Buy good, fast memory SD card, get a spare battery and you can shoot all you want without any additional cost. I just love it.

Anyway, the hummingbirds are feeding on our flowers, especially Cardinal Flower and Calibrachoa (Million Bells) so often now that all I have to do is sit down and wait. I like to use manual focus because I am used to it and because the autofocus with long lens is very unreliable. This afternoon as I was adjusting some settings on my camera flash that is always mounted on the side of my Canon, I spotted one hummingbird coming to the Cardinal Flower. I went to work and this is the result of just about 30 seconds of shooting.

All pictures were taken with 75 - 300mm f/4-5.6 lens, manual focus, single frame shooting, flash set on E-TTL exposure metering, shutter speed 1/200 (synch speed for flash), aperture automatic, ISO automatic. The planter with the flowers was about 18 feet away from where I was standing. See the arrow.

Since tripod with hummingbirds is not practical, very steady hands are prerequisite. Right hand holds camera and triggers the shutter and left hand focuses the lens.
Now I have to figure out the light angle so that hummingbirds will show off his ruby throat! I will move around and see what the best angle is. Isn’t it nice to have some free time on hand? J

 These two shots are just half a second apart

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