Photographing Hummingbirds

As you might be able to tell, I love animals and the outdoors. The gardens in my yard are filled with flowers that attract all kinds of birds. One of my favorite birds that visit my flowers are Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. When I first moved to my house, I caught a glimpse of one and that next day I hung a feeder next to my kitchen back window. The hummers didn’t take long to discover it and have been entertaining my family every since.

This summer I bought a SB-700 speedlight for my Nikon camera and decided to put it through it’s paces. Photographing hummingbirds is a great way to teach yourself the finer nuances of flash photography. The challenge I posed to myself was to capture images with the little hummer’s wings frozen in mid flight. It’s a challenge just to catch a photo of these quick little birds. But it takes many tries to get just one good photo.

I tried lots of different techniques and camera settings to get the wings and feathers just right. I finally found a good mix of shutter speed, aperture, and ISO to give me a pleasant mix of stopped action and depth of field. The next step for me will be to get a couple more flashes and better reflectors.

For now, I just wanted to share what I’ve been able to capture. I have my favorites but think the collection really shows the personality of these very fast flyers.

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