2022—Getting Ready for a Bath

There are two fountains in my garden and the Anna’s Hummingbirds use both of them to bathe. When I walked out into the garden holding my Nikon Z9 with the 500mm PF attached for some panning practice, I heard this female Anna’s making it clear she was not happy that I was in her garden. I finally espied her flitting around the shrubs chirping at me. Normally when I invade their space, the Hummers leave until they feel comfortable returning with me there, about ten minutes or so. That was not the case yesterday morning. Her erratic flight up and over the pergola and everywhere but around the feeders made it clear that she wasn’t there for nectar but for something else. Finally, she realized I wasn’t leaving so she focused on the urn fountain. Then I knew she was determined to take a bath and here she is descending onto the fountain. After watching a Nikon Professional Services webinar the day before that discussed the various Z9 focus systems, I was determined to try out the ones I hadn’t yet used. Hummers are good test subjects because of their erratic flight but also because they hover motionless except for their wings so the auto focus system can do its job and with animal eye detection enabled, lock on. My problem yesterday was not at all with the autofocus system which worked perfectly but with the photographer (that would be me) being unable to keep all of the hummer within the frame. In the end, I did manage to get quite a few shots and I was happy to see that even the ones that were only partially in the frame were still in focus. I am going to continue working on doing a little better job of framing my subject. An added bonus, there’s lots of green in the photograph, taken yesterday on St. Paddy’s Day.

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