Hummingbird Photography

I’ve had a chance recently to work with the PhototrapI bought last fall. I decided to try to get some hummingbird photos since we have had a large population of several species lately. Anna’s Hummingbirds are here all winter as well as spring and fall – they seem to leave only for the hot summer months. Costa’s are seen occasionally in winter but are more numerous during migration. We have Black-chinned all the summer (and they have arrived already). Rufous and Calliope are seen occasionally during migration. We have had a Broad-billed here only a few times. 

There is definitely a learning curve with the equipment, but I think once I get it figured out it will be fun to use on various projects. I probably deleted a hundred pictures from the first couple evenings and kept several. Below are two that I liked the best (although there is room for improvement!).

Anna's Hummingbird (Calypte anna)

Costa's Hummingbird (Calypte costae)

Just to clarify, these pictures were taken at dusk, but it wasn’t as dark as it appears. The flash units need to be turned down to a pretty low setting (so the flash duration is short, thereby freezing the movement of the wings). The bird ends up being the only thing illuminated. To get color on the background, I would need to set up some kind of a colored wall behind the feeder and light it with yet another flash (or use Photoshop to put the birds on another photo…). As it is, I like these pictures because the dark background focuses your attention on the bird and the flash really brings out the color in their gorgets!