2022—Slow Shutter

When I use the Nikon Z2x teleconverter with the Nikkor Z100-400mm lens, the maximum aperture is f/11 at 800mm. Because I shoot in Aperture Priority, the camera selects the shutter speed, and if I’m not paying attention, the resulting shutter speed might be too slow for some subjects, like moving birds. Hummingbirds are challenging to photograph but because they hover in place without moving their heads for extended periods, it is possible to photograph them successfully, getting the eye sharp, an absolute must for wildlife photography. Yesterday morning the light on a pot of chives caught my eye and I went out with my camera in hand but my attention was quickly diverted by one of the female Anna’s Hummingbirds so I focused on her instead. I had already increased the ISO to 3200 because the shutter speed was too slow in the shady early morning light at a lower ISO. But I failed to increase it again when I was photographing her, something I realized too late when I reviewed the images. I took this at 1/50 second. The minimum shutter speed I usually want for birds is 1/125 and higher is better. But, I like the resulting image and the slow shutter speed revealed the movement in the body, the wings, and the feet while the head remained steady allowing for sharp focus on the eye.

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