Bird Photography: A Hummingbird Flies

| June 17, 2012
Bird Photography: Hummingbird

Hummingbird in flight – Canon 5D Mark III, 140mm, 1/2500, f/4.5

I have been crazy busy this weekend so it will have to be a short one tonight. I shot this hummingbird while doing some bird photography at Yosemite National Park last month. I sat on the deck of our bed and breakfast for about an hour trying to get the best shot I could of a hummingbird in flight. I have several photographs from the session that I like but this one took the cake for me. I loved the look of the backlighting on the hummingbird’s wings and how the sun created the beautiful rim light on the beak, head and back. Focus was the hardest thing to achieve because these little things do not stay still for long.

Humming Bird Photography: My Camera Settings

As for the basic camera settings, I used my Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 lens zoomed to 140mm, which compressed the background a bit and brought it closer to the bird. The background is actually made up of the trees that were across the river from where we were staying. The aperture of f/4.5 along with the 140mm focal length created the nice blur in the background while giving enough depth of field to keep the entire bird in focus. The blurred background allows the bird to stand out as the focal point. As you can see, the shutter speed, even at 1/2500ths of a second, still allowed a bit of motion blur at the tips of the wings. That’s OK in my book because it helps describe the incredible speed at which the wings are flapping.

I could have sat there for hours having fun with bird photography! Donna finally came over and said, “If you want to hike today, we better get going!” I snapped out of my trance and ended up having a great day in the park and a few cool hummingbird shots for the portfolio!

Have a great week!

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Category: Photography

Comments (3)

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  1. Nancie says:

    Fabulous capture & stunning image. Love it Lee!!

  2. You did a brilliant job of capturing the hummingbird! Thank you for sharing.

  3. Bev says:

    just a wonderful photo of this tiny flight of color. Thanks also for pointing out the light on the beak etc for the untrained eye it helps to see things in more details