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Thread: Capturing Hummers

  1. #241
    Senior Member bob williams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by conropl View Post
    I was impressed that you were able to get the flower and bird DOF just right. Which is where the aperture question came from. Sorry about the inane questions, but here are a couple more: In order to get the bird and flower focal plane parrallel to the camera sensor are you clamping a piece of the flower in your clamp system? And does that work consistently to draw the birds in for you, or are you skunked now and again?

    Again, great shots.
    Conropl,

    1st, Never worry about asking questions here. Thats what this forum is all about

    Yes, I do use an inexpensive spring clamp to hold the flowers in place----But the clamp will often brake the flower stem and cause it to wilt faster, so I just place a small piece of tubing in the clamp, then place the flower stem in the tubing---Seems to work pretty well as long as there is little or no wind.

    As far as getting skunked, well...thats always a risk with humming birds. Even if you have a lot of birds around, they may be more interested in fighting then they are in posing for pictures. Just like with most other forms of photography, some days are good, some days are great and some days are lousy. To reduce the number of lousy days I have with hummingbirds I do this:

    1. Keep the feeder up as much as possible when not actively shooting.
    2. When you replace the feeder with some type of flower system, charge the flower with sugar water; I use a vetrinary syringe. This keeps them coming back to the flower.
    3. I normally only shoot with the flower up for about 20 minutes, then I replace it with the feeder. This gives you time to make adjustments, review your images etc, and gives the birds a chance to feed.
    4. Try and pace your shooting. Its natural to try and snap as many shots as possible when the bird is hitting the flower or the feeder, but you don't want to terrorize the bird every time he comes to feed, if you do, they may not come back. I usually try and snap two or three shots when they come to the flower/feeder, Then on thier return visit, just let them feed without the flash. Just alternate this cycle and you will probably keep your birds coming back again and again---Patience is the key.

    One note: If you have more than the one target feeder, take them down and hide them while you are shooting. This forces the bird to come to the target feeder. Also, Hide the extra feeders well. No matter where I put the extra feeders, the birds always seem to find them, even under the patio table, on the ground, etc. I resorted to hiding them in my barbecue grill and closing the lid. Don't forget to put the feeders back up when your done shooting.

    Hope that helps,
    Bob

  2. #242
    Senior Member conropl's Avatar
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    Bob:
    That helps a lot. I was wondering if you are replacing the feeder with the flower... thanks for answer that as well. If I want to see a lot of HB's I usually go to my in-laws because they seem to have an abundance of them, but I have a hard time getting a shot off because they spend most of their time fighting (the HB's, not the in-laws).

    Thanks for the tutorial.

    Have you ever thought of having a HB workshop to make a little money on the side. There are people doing that, and you know what you are doing. It takes someone that enjoys teaching others what you have learned. You seem to be effective, open, and passionate about passing on your knowledge... so it seems to fit.
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  3. #243
    Senior Member bob williams's Avatar
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    I was wondering if you are replacing the feeder with the flower...
    Yes, when I am actively shooting, I will replace the target feeder with a flower or two.

    If I want to see a lot of HB's I usually go to my in-laws because they seem to have an abundance of them, but I have a hard time getting a shot off because they spend most of their time fighting (the HB's, not the in-laws).
    Unfortunately, That's where patience comes in. Hummers are normally territorial and as such spend a good amount of time protecting that territory (which includes the feeders/flowers)---but eventually they will get to the feeder/flower and when they do, you need to be ready.

    Have you ever thought of having a HB workshop to make a little money on the side. There are people doing that, and you know what you are doing. It takes someone that enjoys teaching others what you have learned. You seem to be effective, open, and passionate about passing on your knowledge... so it seems to fit.
    No, I don't consider myself to that level "yet". Like you, I am still learning, but am glad to share what I have learned with anyone. So, If you are ever in the neighborhood, stop by, and for the price of a few frosty beverages, I will gladly share my backyard studio and indulge in applicable or completely irrelevant conversation. Just ask Joel.
    Last edited by bob williams; 04-21-2012 at 07:47 PM.
    Bob

  4. #244
    Senior Member bob williams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joel Eade View Post
    So many possibilities....you're gonna have hours and hours of fun (that is, if Norma lets you)
    Well, She has been pretty tolerant this weekend---She knows I have been going through "hummingbird withdrawls" for the last six months---but I was sure to get my chores done first.
    Bob

  5. #245
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob williams View Post
    So, If you are ever in the neighborhood, stop by, and for the price of a few frosty beverages, I will gladly share my backyard studio and indulge in applicable or completely irrelevant conversation. Just ask Joel.
    Absolutely!!!

  6. #246
    Senior Member Mark Elberson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob williams View Post
    Here is another one from today's shooting---I think this my be my best to date---What do you think?

    DD---I have some shots of my setup but haven't downloaded them yet, Hopefully, I will get to that tomorrow.

    I agree! Beautiful!!

  7. #247
    Senior Member bob williams's Avatar
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    FYI, I just posted another article in my Hummingbird Blog. If your interested, stop by and take a look and feel free to critique, comment or add to the discussion.

    Here: http://rwilliamsimaging.com/blog
    Bob

  8. #248
    Senior Member bob williams's Avatar
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    As some of you know, I have started a blog about Hummingbird Photography. Unfortunately, after writing a tutorial and two articles, I am starting to run out of ideas, So I thought this would be a good time to field some questions on the subject. I have copied several good questions from the Bird and Hummer threads but still need a few more to complete the article. So I am asking any of you interested to help me out with some more questions regarding the subject of Hummingbird photography. You can either ask those questions here, or go directly to the site and ask them there in the Comments section. Also, if you have tips or other comments, those are welcome as well.

    Thanks for any assistance,

    Bob

    P.S.

    I previously posted this as a thread of its own, but didn't get any takers---I'm hoping the birders in the group can help.

    Also, Thanks Pat Conroy for the questions used so far---Those were really good.
    Last edited by bob williams; 04-29-2012 at 12:52 PM.
    Bob

  9. #249
    Senior Member FastGass's Avatar
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    Damm that's a great shot! I haven't followed up on this thread lately and I am impressed. Now I need to get some flashes and try this myself, but that might be a while. Hopefully this year I will have something to post.

    Keep it up,
    John.
    Amateurs worry about gear, pros about the pay, masters about the light, and I just take pictures!

  10. #250
    Senior Member bob williams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FastGass View Post
    Damm that's a great shot! I haven't followed up on this thread lately and I am impressed. Now I need to get some flashes and try this myself, but that might be a while. Hopefully this year I will have something to post.

    Keep it up,
    John.
    Thanks John.
    Bob

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