The Hummingbird Project 2: Further Attempts

Hummers AU11-47

I’ve enjoyed a couple more cracks at photographing the hummers, who spend autumns here on the northcoast of California, before heading off to environments unknown. There are quite a number of them hanging around; and they are constantly engaging in fierce aerial combat over the feeder. I counted at least five different birds that have shown up to the feeder, many of them quite concerned lest another bird come zooming in and attack them while feeding. The prettiest of the birds was this red-throated one:

I’ve now added a third flash and am able to stop down far enough to take away the ambient light ghosting I was getting before. The only trouble is that I get less bokeh on my background. One possible way around this is to try to shoot closer. I took the following picture from about seven feet:

That still involves a bit of cropping, though not as bad as before. Five to six feet might be idle, but not sure the birds would be comfortable having me that close.

Another issue I’ve run into is trying to get the birds to feet from only one side of the feeder, where I can most advantageously photograph the little flying beasties. I tried putting tape in front of feeder outputs, but that didn’t discourage this stubborn bird, who insisted on feeding from this side. The annoying, uncooperative little heli-rascals!