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Old Jun 24, 2012, 10:19 AM   #1
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Default Hummingbird Finally Got It

I've sitting out in the garden for days trying to get shots of this hummingbird. (Also with a new point and shoot) Finally got something acceptable. I admire birders. You need a lot of patience and a lot of shots. Kx Tamron 18-250, 1/2000. (I keep getting hit or miss on the sharpness to the web.)
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Old Jun 24, 2012, 10:25 AM   #2
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Nice captures! You are absolutely right that a lot of patience is required to shoot hummers. I have shot them at 1/2000' and still not completely stopped wing movement.

Lou
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Old Jun 24, 2012, 1:00 PM   #3
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Nice captures - there is a real feeling of accomplishment when you finally get something you have been trying for for a long time. You can tell by the halos around the bills that these are technically oversharpened, but sometimes that is necessary to bring out details.

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Nice captures! You are absolutely right that a lot of patience is required to shoot hummers. I have shot them at 1/2000' and still not completely stopped wing movement.
Lou
Without getting into details of anatomy or aerodynamics that would glaze your eyes over, Lou, there is a reason why he did and you didn't - you would have to be lucky enough to catch the wings at the end of the down- or upstroke, as he did here, because there is a momentary pause as they change direction. You would need an even faster shutter speed or a strobe light to stop them in mid stroke. Number two is in mid turn, but number one is a bit past the end point, and it appears to be upside down, as it in fact is, having rotated 180 at the shoulder. In order to maintain a vertical position in the air, the wings must beat horizontally (like a helicopter rotor), but since they cannot turn 360, they must do two 180s -- they (and swifts - think chimneys) are unique among birds in having both powered up- and downstrokes so they can hover or move up and down with the body vertical. Most small birds have only a powered downstroke and then a faster speed upstroke to get the wings in position for the next power stroke as rapidly as possible.
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Old Jun 24, 2012, 7:58 PM   #4
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Nice captures - there is a real feeling of accomplishment when you finally get something you have been trying for for a long time. You can tell by the halos around the bills that these are technically oversharpened, but sometimes that is necessary to bring out details.



Without getting into details of anatomy or aerodynamics that would glaze your eyes over, Lou, there is a reason why he did and you didn't - you would have to be lucky enough to catch the wings at the end of the down- or upstroke, as he did here, because there is a momentary pause as they change direction. You would need an even faster shutter speed or a strobe light to stop them in mid stroke. Number two is in mid turn, but number one is a bit past the end point, and it appears to be upside down, as it in fact is, having rotated 180 at the shoulder. In order to maintain a vertical position in the air, the wings must beat horizontally (like a helicopter rotor), but since they cannot turn 360, they must do two 180s -- they (and swifts - think chimneys) are unique among birds in having both powered up- and downstrokes so they can hover or move up and down with the body vertical. Most small birds have only a powered downstroke and then a faster speed upstroke to get the wings in position for the next power stroke as rapidly as possible.
Penolta, thanks for that explanation. From now on when I photograph hummers I will shoot in burst mode in order to have a better chance to get a stationary wing shot.

I am glad you are enjoying the Safari pictures.

Lou
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Old Jun 24, 2012, 8:03 PM   #5
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Yes, burst mode, a bunch of times. I downloaded over 100 shots to get these two.
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Old Jun 24, 2012, 10:17 PM   #6
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Excellent shots! I have tried to photograph hummingbirds, but never had any success. I don't think I have the necessary patience.
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Old Jun 25, 2012, 9:27 AM   #7
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I put up a feeder last year and have yet to get a good shot, but it is at the cottage so the time to sit is short, nice shots I hope I do as well

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Old Jun 25, 2012, 10:10 AM   #8
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As Penolta said, when you finally get the shot you are after it is immensely satisfying

Two fine shots indeed. Congrats !

We don't have any hummers over here but there are other similar tiny birds, the 4" (10cm) Olive Backed Sunbird (I'll put up a thread on these soon) I found in Hainan Island also hovers (and I guess has the same wing motion mechanics Pen ?) and sounds more like a bumble bee, when it flies in that mode, than a bird ! Other birds here also hover - I'm sure I remember the Japanese White Eye (8-10cm) doing the same - which surprised me as it didn't know it was capable since they usually just flit from branch to branch in what seems like perpetual motion.
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Old Jun 25, 2012, 8:53 PM   #9
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Congratulations on your success with Hummer photos! Hope you will continue and post even more!
(and thanks to Penolta for the physics lesson - very interesting)

PS to Kevin - Hummingbirds do indeed sound more like insects than birds when hovering - I was up at Hampton Creek Cove State Natural Area recently, and the Bee Balm plants were full of hummers - we heard them before we saw them!
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