2021—The Best Laid PLans

Next week I am going to Madera Canyon in Arizona to photograph many more species of hummingbirds than I have here in Northern California. In preparation, I have set up my hummingbird rig that includes my Nikon D6, my Nikkor 500mmPF lens, and two Nikon SB5000 speed lights with soft boxes so that I can practice with the rig and work on my muscle memory so that I’ll be better prepared for the action in Arizona. My California Fuchsia is in glorious bloom and the hummers visit often and sample from every blossom. The early morning light has been perfect so the last several mornings I set up and focused on the fuchsia blossoms with the best background. Each time, a female Anna’s has buzzed in my face, showing her displeasure at my presence which seems to have disrupted her routine. Yesterday, when she finally began to sample nectar from the back of the fuchsia, obscured by leaves and blossoms, I was hopeful. When she landed on one of the perches I have placed nearby I took a shot to double check my settings. When the hummer returned a few minutes later and began to sip nectar from the Hummingbird Mint out of sight of my camera, I removed the camera and lens only from the tripod, walked across the patio and took several shots hand held while she fed unconcerned by my presence. The blossoms on the Hummingbird Mint were well past their prime and the background wasn’t as good as the background near the fuchsia. Sometimes, if I may paraphrase Robert Burns, the best laid plans can still go awry.

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