As many of you already know, I spend allot of time photographing hummingbirds. They have long been one of my favorite species, and I love the challenge of catching them in flight. Thankfully, digital imaging has made the task much easier than just a few years ago. Thanks to the development of increasing low noise digital sensors, we now have the ability to shoot images at very high iso's with very little digital noise. Those higher iso's have enable us to shoot at incredibly high shutter speeds, which are demanded by this kind of photography. Typically, I shoot hummers at 1600 iso, and I try to achieve a shutter speed of between 1/2000 th of a sec. to perhaps 1/4000th of a sec. The shot above falls somewhere in the middle.
I'm often ask if I use either a flash or filters to get the job done. The answer is neither, as I don't like the effect of a flash, nor do I like filters, as I think they tend to degrade my images. I try in all cases to capture my images without adding anything to the lens or lighting. I just feel it gives a more natural feeling to the photograph. Others may disagree.....this is simply my personal approach.
Fortunately, I live in an area of the country where we are blessed with lots of hummingbirds. My gardens are generally buzzing with them all summer. However, that is not to say that I don't employ the use of feeders to attract even more. In fact, I have lots of feeders that can be easily moved around the gardens. These feeders are extremely helpful in bringing the hummers to areas of the garden that have the most flowers in bloom. The above photo came about by moving several hummingbird feeders into a area of the garden filled with Iris. While hummers aren't especially attracted to Iris' for feeding, my feeders brought the birds to the Iris and I managed to capture some interesting images. Very few photos come from luck alone. Good photos are generally well planned in advance, and then executed with skill and patience........at least that is my take on it. Enjoy your photography.