Monday, March 26, 2012


This is NOT a good photo. But this is the only one I have managed to take till now.

Anyone who has the slightest interest in nature photography probably wants to take a photo of a hummingbird drinking nectar from a flower. There is something magical about that sight. How they manage to hover just on the spot with frantic flipping of their wings, and smoothly glide from one flower to another. And they are pretty.

In spite of seeing them so many times, I hadn't managed to take any photos of them doing that till now. Because they don't hang around for too long. (I did manage to take a photo of one sitting on a branch. And also of a nest with eggs.)

So when I saw a hummingbird near the peach tree in my backyard on a weekend - this is what happened.

1. Frantically ran upstairs.
2. Got the camera out of the bag.
3. Removed the prime lens.
4. Put in the big 300mm zoom.
5. Set the mode to "Tv"
6. Adjusted shutter speed to max to see their wings clearly, not just a blur. This is at 1/4000.
7. Tried to find the hummingbird again. (Why are they so tiny ?)
8, Zoomed to max.
9. Click, click, click like crazy. (Thank you digital camera, no worrying about film cost.)

This is the result. Out of all the photos that had a hummingbird in it, only one turned out to be OK.

What I didn't realize was - with the shutter speed so high, the aperture is going to be wide open (it was f/5.6), making it difficult to get the focus right. So it's not very clear. Plus the zoom magnifies any shaking. But hey, it's still a photo of a hummingbird drinking nectar from a flower ! So it's at least a partial success.

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