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  1. #11
    copake_ham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm View Post
    Um, George, two female Ruby Throats visit our stand of Cardinal Flowers.

    They're every bit as territorial as the males. Sometimes, when I look out the window one of them is happily working on the plants, and then out of nowhere the other one zooms in and chases the second one away.

    keithwms, are your hummer shots critically sharp?
    One of the things I love is the way they chatter indignantly as the "turf owner" chases off the interloper. There's a lot of bird cursing going on during these "turf battles".

    We have a big old white birch tree about 40 feet from the feeders. The "resident" hummer will often "park" up there "on guard" and come swooping in when the interloper arrives at the feeder.

    Another interesting thing is that the feeder outlets have perches - and at times the hummer will actually alight onto the perch, stop beating her/his wings and feed - something that you wouldn't see when they feed at a real flower.

    I guess it's another testament to how fearless they sometimes can be....

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm View Post
    keithwms, are your hummer shots critically sharp?
    Dan, I'd say they are not magazine-quality critically sharp- they could/should have been taken a stop or two faster. But I think I did fairly well for my first outing, and I found the birds very suprisingly approachable, actually much easier than others I've tried. Next time I'll nail them for sure.

    Anyway here are two shots.



    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  3. #13
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Indeed they are quite vocal, once you recognize that sound you can find them easily. In many parts if the US, right now is the best time to find them, I think they have new offspring and will begin heading south in a month or so.

    There was a nat geo article on them recently that had some gorgeous detail shots, presumably taken with very good flash setups. One of the really surprising things to me in that article is that there is an andean hummer that is really big, and a Cuban one that is the size of a thumb.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  4. #14
    Trask's Avatar
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    My parents live in Sierra Nevada foothills and have a fairly permanent resident h'bird population -- about ten of the little fellows zooming all over the place, especially as dusk approaches. We can go out on the deck and put our fingers near the feeder, and they'll land on them and look around. I guess the fact that my parents feed them daily and, at over 80, can't move fast enough to threaten them make them very tolerant of our being around. So I think the best trick is to find hummingbirds like these -- or go visit my parents!

  5. #15

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    keithws, please don't take this as critical.

    When I started shooting freshwater fish in aquariums (mine, mainly) with flash I quickly solved the problem of getting the exposure right. Once over that hurdle, I was as delighted as could be with the results.

    But, y'know, after several months of serious practice and self-criticism aimed at making my fish shots better, also of careful comparison of my best yet with published pictures, I got to feeling a little ashamed of my first efforts. And of my second efforts. ... Since then I've sold fish pix to the slicks. But my early work really won't stand the light of day, except as teaching examples of what one goes through.

    My last couple of year's hummer shots won't stand the light of day, if I want to shoot 'em again I'm going to have to improve my technique a lot. Last year's were better, but I have a ways to go. As I thought I indicated in my first post in this thread.

    Getting the shot at all is a very important first step. But that's all it is. Work at it, think about what you're doing and what you're producing, and you'll do better.

  6. #16
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Dan being critical is fine, I look at them critically as well. I didn't post 'em for critique for good reason

    The original question was what lens to use and my point is that these birds are amazingly approachable.

    In my first post I mentioned how much further one can go for professional results... tripod, flashes and flash focuser... faster lens and faster film... but if someone wants to see what a bumbling landscape guy can do with a handheld 300/4 without a flash, there ya go, blur and all
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  7. #17
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    Keith, thank you so very much for the beautiful first-time shoots of Nature's "flying jewels"! You have given me, personally, a huge sense of hope: gee, maybe I can photograph those 'pretties'. Of course, only when it gets much cooler in central Arizona!!
    [FONT=Verdana]"the real truth of a photographic image is in its ability to evoke emotion."--Bryan Peterson[/FONT]
    [COLOR="DarkOrchid"]My Muse wheels Herself about in a wheel-chair![/COLOR]

  8. #18
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    We have feeders about 2 feet from our front window and it is crazy with hummers at this time of year. It is like a beehive and they are forever chattering and chasing one another away. They even go after me from time to time when I get too close. I set-up my camera in the window and they get pretty used to us shooting them. It has become sport for my 3 year old and he has made some wonderful shots. Never too soon to get them started!

  9. #19
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Bill, how about some medium or large format hummer shots?

    Actually, maybe that's not so crazy, with the fast flash synch you can get with leaf shutters...
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  10. #20
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    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

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