2014—A Different View
Whenever you read about effective wildlife photography, the emphasis is always on making sure the eyes of the creature are in focus, most preferably with a distinct highlight in the eye itself, and, if that creature looks directly at the lens, pulling the viewer into the photograph, wow! You’ve achieved photographic Nirvana, at least when it comes to photographing wildlife, assuming composition and exposure are perfect. After turning the Vibration Reduction setting to the “on” position on my 80-400mm lens, I set out to rectify my errors of prior days. There was some hummingbird activity with lots of chasing and very little hovering so I held little hope that I would get a hummingbird shot. However, finally one of the hummers seemed to have earned the right to drink at the fountain without being harassed and I was ready. I got several decent shots of the hummer just standing still in the water drinking and although those shots were in focus and had the requisite highlights in the eyes, they were nothing special or different from what I’ve posted here many times. However, I did get two shots with the hummer’s wings deployed (if that’s a term that can be used with bird wings) and they are in decent, though not perfect, focus. The trouble is, the eyes are completely obscured by the wings in both shots. Still, I liked the shots because they show the wings and in the second shot, it’s clear that the hummer is still getting new feathers. One of the left wing feathers has not grown out fully and the white keratin sheath that holds the new feather while it matures is visible.