Sunday, September 7, 2008

Flashing Hummingbirds

Friday night, as we ate dinner out on the back patio, the hummingbirds were still buzzing around the feeder above our heads. So, in typical Strobist "light-it-if-it-moves" fashion, I though, "I wonder if I can get some light on them with a flash?"

About half an hour later I had the shots on this page.

They aren't perfect. In particular, to keep the background (the sky) from ghosting horribly at the 1/250 sec sync speed I had to crank the flash up and close down the aperture (anywhere from f/8 to f/13). Even with that, there was still decent ghosting.

Also, the hummers were a bit wary of me and my equipment so I couldn't stand up and had to shoot up at them (with the flash in shallow camera right aiming up at them too).

After the first few sequences of shots the birds stayed away from me in general, possibly because every time they tried to eat there was a loud clicking noise and flashing lights!

Also, two of the male Anna's hummingbirds were having a little turf war and everytime one came near the feeder the other would start buzz-bombing runs at it.

I'd like to try it again, but I want to figure out a way to get a better (darker) background, a more pleasing angle, and a closer shot.

I also need to figure out why I had noticeable noise in the blue sky at ISO 100. Maybe the blue filters are more sensitive to noise? Something in the back of my memory tells me there's a connection between our lack of blue sensitivity and a camera's.

At least I got a Microstock shot out of it! (the second one from the top)

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