HOW TO SET UP- Hummingbird photography

Started Jun 24, 2006 | Discussions
OP Keith Rankin Veteran Member • Posts: 3,400
Re: Thanks but I still have a problem...

Dont feel bad, same here, I had to drive 10 hours to get these..........LOL!!!!!!!!! Just makes it that much more sweet

photoforfun wrote:

Thanks for sharing your technical findings and congratulations for
the pics, but I still have a problem... there are no Hummingbirds
where I live...
--
Kindest regards to everybody, whatever camera you own.
Stany Buyle
Photography is a marvellous hobby which I enjoy, not to compete...

OP Keith Rankin Veteran Member • Posts: 3,400
Re: Awesome Keith, Thanks...

Great Mike, the cool thing is you dont need it all at once.........here is a shot with 1 flash...........let me know how you make out

MikeBerube wrote:

That was very helpful.

...now to get:

  • Feeder

  • extra speedlights (only have 1)

  • lightstands

  • etc.

Been meaning to do this for years.

Mike Berube
--

  • It's all about the pictures -

(PBase Supporter)
http://www.pbase.com/mikeb2002

dino chiommino2 Regular Member • Posts: 370
Re: HOW TO SET UP- Hummingbird photography

Hi Keith, your set up is great.A week ago i hanged a feeder right out of my deck, but no sign of the birds. I was wondering, I live in Paterson North Jersey, do you know if there are humming birds in this parts ?

lefty from Saratoga Contributing Member • Posts: 613
How Far Are You From the Birds?

Keith,

From your pictures of the setup it looks like the camera is fairly close to the feeder??? Are you using a remote shutter release? Even if you are it seems like you will still be pretty close to the birds; aren't they intimidated by your presence?

Bernie
--
Saratoga Lefty
http://www.pbase.com/saratoga_lefty

StillLearning
StillLearning Veteran Member • Posts: 4,388
Re: HOW TO SET UP- Hummingbird photography

Now it makes sense how you got those fabulous shots. A lot of thought and work went into it. I see it paid off in royals. Now all I need to do is kick my dogs out of the backyard and take over the back porch.

By the way I caught this little guy singing away in my front yard tree this morning. Anna's are noted for singing. Notice his Anna's apple , I mean Adam's apple.

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Uncle Frank
Uncle Frank Forum Pro • Posts: 21,511
Re: good show, Keith!

That's a great tutorial, Keith, and will help new hummingbird hunters start off on the right foot. Since attracting the wee beasties is the key to the process, I'll donate a link to the best hummer site I know. They've compiled very useful information about varieties by state, feeders, rescue techniques, etc.

http://hummingbirds.net/

I fully support your point about the importance of knowing the birds' behaviors in order to be able to photograph them effectively. I've spent many an hour enjoying the company of the wee Annas Hummingbirds that visit my feeders, and understanding how they tick has enhanced the experience.

Your thread inspired me to dust off the long lens (80-200/2.8 AF ED) and try my hand this afternoon. It was very hot out, and I was too lazy to set up the light stands, so I worked on my camera mounted single flash technique. I probably have a few hundred shots like these, but I'm always charmed by the hummers.

-- hide signature --

Warm regards, Uncle Frank
FCAS Founder, Hummingbird Hunter, Egret Stalker
Dilettante Appassionato
Galleries at http://www.pbase.com/unclefrank

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StillLearning
StillLearning Veteran Member • Posts: 4,388
Re: HOW TO SET UP- Hummingbird photography

You should have Ruby Throats in your area. Put only a small amout of food out and change it every 3 days. Note how full it is and then note how much it may have gone down. You my not see them for a while but they may still be feeding. They are smart and can find food sources plus remember where they are at.

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StillLearning
StillLearning Veteran Member • Posts: 4,388
Re: good shots, Frank!

Looks like a female or juvenile male. I'm sill learning (no pun intended) how to identify them. I even thought our Anna's were Costa's based on my brother's friend. But since then we've corrected that. The Anna's are very territorial. The poor Black-Chinneds have to dart in and out to get food. They're smart, when the Anna's are chasing each other they come in and feed. BTW I've enjoyed your other bird shots.

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DEJ Senior Member • Posts: 1,501
Re: HOW TO SET UP- Hummingbird photography

Keith,
Wonderful post! Thanks for taking the time to share
Your Masterful knowledge on this subject.

Darrell

Uncle Frank
Uncle Frank Forum Pro • Posts: 21,511
Re: good shots, Frank!

StillLearning wrote:

Looks like a female or juvenile male.

I'm leaning towards male, and think that if I'd used multiple flashes, we would have seen a flaming red gorget, like this visitor from last year displayed.

The Anna's are very territorial.

Tell me about it. There have been times when a male has hovered a foot in front of my face and tried to chase me from my own yard -lol.

BTW I've enjoyed your other bird shots.

Thanks so much. I enjoy taking and sharing them :-).

-- hide signature --

Warm regards, Uncle Frank
FCAS Founder, Hummingbird Hunter, Egret Stalker
Dilettante Appassionato
Galleries at http://www.pbase.com/unclefrank

 Uncle Frank's gear list:Uncle Frank's gear list
Nikon D700 Olympus PEN E-P5
DEJ Senior Member • Posts: 1,501
Re: good show, Keith!

Uncle Frank wrote:

That's a great tutorial, Keith, and will help new hummingbird
hunters start off on the right foot. Since attracting the wee
beasties is the key to the process, I'll donate a link to the best
hummer site I know. They've compiled very useful information about
varieties by state, feeders, rescue techniques, etc.

http://hummingbirds.net/

Frank, Thanks for sharing the web site. I have already bookmarked it for reference.
Regards
Darrell

OP Keith Rankin Veteran Member • Posts: 3,400
Re: I was hoping to see something like this...

It was timely , look forward to seeing your pics

AZSheldon wrote:

Thank you Keith, I was hoping to see something like this after my
post yesterday...

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1021&message=18948244

...and now I see I need 2 more D200's, 3 more SB-800's, some more
stands and cords, and hmmmm more toys, so I have something to
justify with my wife, ha ha...

Don't forget, hummingbirds, too!

Actually, this is excellent information. Thanks.

Jack

StillLearning
StillLearning Veteran Member • Posts: 4,388
Re: I was hoping to see something like this...

I have an old Photogenic 800ws pack and 3 heads in my closet. Haven't used them for a year. Now I have a reason to. I can dial it down to 100ws that should give me 1/3200 of a second speed. Think that it would be enough to freeze them?

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OP Keith Rankin Veteran Member • Posts: 3,400
Re: I was hoping to see something like this...
1

I would use those for the background that will lite it up nice....

StillLearning wrote:

I have an old Photogenic 800ws pack and 3 heads in my closet.
Haven't used them for a year. Now I have a reason to. I can dial
it down to 100ws that should give me 1/3200 of a second speed.
Think that it would be enough to freeze them?

skip tesch Contributing Member • Posts: 696
Thanks for the insitefull writeup! (NT)
-- hide signature --

Skip Teschendorf
WSSA member#62

OP Keith Rankin Veteran Member • Posts: 3,400
Re: HOW TO SET UP- Hummingbird photography

Perserverance yes, and believe me its not that bad, looks more complicated than it is. If you have hummers around, will take you no time to figure it out

Blkmagikca wrote:

Thank you for an excellent description on how you photograph
hummingbirds. Well thought out, well described - almost makes it
look easy; but having photographed birds, I know it's not. The key
word here is perseverence!

Thanks.
--
Howard
Nikon D200, 24-120VR, Micro-60, Micro-55, 70-300ED, SB-600, SB-21
Panasonic FX-9

OP Keith Rankin Veteran Member • Posts: 3,400
Thanks Kerry :) (nt)

Kerry Pierce wrote:

I always enjoy your shots. Your description of the effort involved
makes it that much more easy to appreciate the results.

OP Keith Rankin Veteran Member • Posts: 3,400
Re: HOW TO SET UP- Hummingbird photography

what a nice problem to have

mtwo wrote:

I agree with the addictive part. Once you make the first attempt
you just have to keep trying. What becomes clear now is the amount
of set-up and forethought which go into dealing with a rather
complicated little critter. I felt pretty good about getting them
on the little feeder perches and the occasional flight shot till I
saw what you were achieving.

It is obvious that like a lot of other apparently simple tasks this
is really not. It is something to work on, but you don't need it
all at once. One strobe will do for starters but a bit of reach is
obviously essential. Thanks for the detailed description. We are
going through lots of sugar here this summer so hummer
opportunities abound but so do the mosquito guys at the best time
of day. Always something. John
--
http://www.pbase.com/dahlstetphoto

OP Keith Rankin Veteran Member • Posts: 3,400
Dino...

Ruby throated and rufous hummingbirds

http://www.hummingbirds.net/states.html

dino chiommino2 wrote:

Hi Keith, your set up is great.A week ago i hanged a feeder right
out of my deck, but no sign of the birds. I was wondering, I live
in Paterson North Jersey, do you know if there are humming birds in
this parts ?

OP Keith Rankin Veteran Member • Posts: 3,400
Re: How Far Are You From the Birds?

I am approx 7-8 ft from the birds except for some of my macro shots..........they feel more than safe at that distance, again you need to move slowly but no problem...........key is being ready as their is always another hummer there trying to chase the others out. The rufous where I was dominated, the caliopes fared ok but the poor blackchins barely had a chance, very frustrating. LOL

lefty from Saratoga wrote:

Keith,
From your pictures of the setup it looks like the camera is fairly
close to the feeder??? Are you using a remote shutter release?
Even if you are it seems like you will still be pretty close to the
birds; aren't they intimidated by your presence?

Bernie
--
Saratoga Lefty
http://www.pbase.com/saratoga_lefty

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