Hummingbird Pictures

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This is the best color I was able to get; you can clearly see the green and red iridescent feathers, but these hummingbirds can appear more brilliant. Click here to zoom in to a high res image of just the head...

A slightly different perspective. The wings are frozen quite well and you can see the bird's tiny feet.

How do you freeze a hummingbird with standard photo equipment? All you need is a flash unit that can be set manually to a very low power. Very low power flashes occur in a very short time interval...about 1/6000 of a second. This is much faster than any camera's fastest flash sync shutter speed. You must make sure that the camera is set for an exposure that is a few stops under...this ensures that most of the illumination comes from the flash unit and not ambient light. Using a manual flash setting is hit-and-miss, but an automatic flash settings tends to overexpose because the hummingbird is so small.

Just by moving the camera a little bit, I had quite a few different backgrounds available.

Although not the most colorful image, this one was the sharpest. A closeup of the wing is shown below. Unfortunately, my scanner cannot reproduce as much detail as exists in the negative.

All photos Copyright © by Adam Lane. All rights reserved.