It’s mid-afternoon on a rather warm Sunday in Maryland. Actually, the weather is pretty great for an August day so I’m not complaining. We have been blessed with unseasonably mild summer temperatures so far this summer and for that, I am very grateful.
On my time off from work, I have been able to sit outside on the back patio, under an umbrella, and set myself up for some hummingbird photography. I have two feeders, a little bird bath, and lots of perching opportunity: a hummingbird swing, and a bush full of tiny little limbs for them to stop and sit a spell. And by that, I mean stopping for just a few seconds until they’re off and flying again.
Suckers are fast, I tellya. Here are some of my favorite shots of the past week . . .
I shoot in all sorts of light. My favorite is the early morning, especially after a rain. That way, the sunlight glistens on the droplets, making for some excellent bokeh.
I freely admit that I do cheat during editing and add some bokeh of my own at times. Actually, it’s not cheating. It’s called editing. So there.
I figured that since I enjoy bird photography so much, it would be worth it to invest in a few props. So I bought two new hummingbird feeders this summer. Got them here, at Duncraft:
The ones I have are called ‘antique hummingbird feeders’ and I see they’re still on sale.
After posting some of these on my FB page, a reader identified one as a female rufous hummingbird. I believe the ones in this post are ruby-throated hummingbirds, both adult and immature males and females. Rufous hummingbirds have more of an orange cast, I believe.
Regardless, they aren’t the easiest to photograph. But I like the challenge.
The one above is my least favorite of the bunch. I shot it this morning using the auto dial (sport mode). Many of the others in this post were shot on manual, dialing up the shutter speed (and the ISO) to get the wing spreads.
My Nikon D7000 doesn’t autofocus that well on the manual mode. Or maybe I’m just not doing it right.
Of course, it’s much easier when they stay still!
For a half a second . . .
One of my favorites.
By early fall, they’ll be gone . . . off to Central America. And I read that many of them will cross the entire Gulf of Mexico in a single flight.
This is something I find astounding.
And this is the adult male ruby-throated hummingbird.
See how they like sitting on the teeniest of branches?
I’ll tell you what this bush is. Several years ago, I bought some pussy willow branches at the grocery store. It was early spring and I brought them home and put them in a vase. After they had served their purpose as a decorative piece, my husband took them outside and planted them in a big pot. He did the same thing the following year with another bunch I had brought home.
I now have a big pussy willow bush that grows in a very large pot on the back patio. It affords some great perching opportunities for the very smallest of the birds who come to visit the property.
Thanks for stopping by today. Hoping that your week to come is pleasant!