08 September 2010

In Flight

Rufous Hummingbird, Patterson Canyon, NM, Sept. 2010
I learned first-hand on Monday why photographers pay dearly for "fast" lenses (large maximum aperture, e.g., f/1.2): even in bright sunlight I found it nearly impossible to successfully photograph the dozen or so hummingbirds buzzing around my friend's feeder. Of the nearly 150 images I shot maybe a dozen came out okay, and only a few really capture the essence of these feisty little guys. I have an all-purpose zoom with a maximum aperture of f/4 to f5.6 (depending on zoom level), and that just won't let in enough light for me to speed up the shutter enough to stop-motion these birds' hard-working wings. Lucky for me I find the blur compelling because it strongly suggests the motion... I was, in any case, pleased to get any decent shots at all because these birds are just so much fun to watch but also so beautiful to behold. I'll miss them when they leave next month.

Rufous Hummingbird, Patterson Canyon, NM, Sept. 2010


RebeccaC said...

I love these photos - you're right, the blurring of the wings really gives you the impression of the speed with which they fly and hover! I also liked the photo of you and Laura (Lassiter) from your visit out here.

I'm so sorry for the loss of your mother. It must be very difficult to go through losing such a loved one.

Anna Lear said...

Thanks for the compliments and for your kind words, Rebecca. Nothing can prepare a person for losing a loved one, but loving family and friends definitely make it more bearable. As awful as losing my mom has been I see how very blessed I am to have so much love around me.