One new photograph, almost every day of the year

Archive for July 9, 2018

2018—Madera Canyon — Day 1

I’m back at Madera Canyon in Arizona photographing hummingbirds again.  We are using a different flash setup than last year’s and so I spent time in the weeks before the trip familiarizing myself with new equipment (micro soft boxes instead of reflectors) and learning manual flash settings and how to adjust flash output quickly on the camera body.  My practice has paid off.    In general, I consider my first day a success. I must learn to be more adept at quickly modifying exposure settings in the camera and flash output as the light changes because every second not looking through the viewfinder can be a missed opportunity. And acquiring focus on these fast moving birds is sometimes impossible. But l’m working on these things.

Day 1 Male Broad-billed Hummer 002

This is a male Broad-billed Hummingbird.  He is a little battle scarred near his throat from skirmishes around the feeders.  He’s in focus but is crowding the right side of the frame a little.

This is another male Broad-billed Hummingbird.  He’s just backed away from the feeder and his tongue is still extended a bit.  I took this later in the day when I was a little more comfortable with my technique. His placement in the frame is better. The flash, intended to light the colors, especially the bird’s gorget, worked as I wanted it to.

There seems to be lots more activity here at Santa Rita Lodge this year than last.  And we saw Mr. Wonderful (a Magnificent Hummingbird, one of the largest species of hummingbird) more often today than we did on all of last year’s trip.  I’m very happy with my first day results. I’m looking forward to a magnificent week of shooting!