2022—The Waiting Game

Photography is often a waiting game. My experience with hummingbirds in my garden is a case in point. The California Fuchsia has started to bloom. It is one of the favorite flowers of the hummingbirds that visit my garden. Six days ago, I noticed one of the clusters of flowers extended well above the pot and the uncluttered background would be perfect if a hummingbird happened by. So, I set up the Z9 and the Z800mm PF on a tripod, opened the patio door, positioned the tripod, and focused on the fuchsia cluster. Then I waited. The optimum time for photographing this plant in the morning is relatively short as the light changes quickly as the shade disappears and the light becomes harsh. Hummingbirds generally feed about every ten or fifteen minutes so they’re predictable both by when they feed and where they feed. Certain flowers attract them and they return to specific blossoms on a plant over and over. For the first two mornings no hummers visited that plant or that flower while I was set up. After waiting the third morning, I decided to leave for my walk so I closed the door and moved the camera. Of course at that very moment, a hummingbird visited the salvia near the fuchsia and then went directly to the blossom. Although it fed there for thirty seconds or so, I was unable to open the door and refocus in time. Two more days passed with the camera at the ready. Some of the blossoms were beginning to fade. Again, no hummers. Finally, yesterday morning, my waiting paid off. A Black-chinned Hummingbird visited the blossom.