It’s time for A Personal Photo Challenge! “Birds” is the theme this month.
This theme was definitely a challenge. I decided to photograph a hummingbird on a branch instead of a feeder. So I studied the favorite landing places for our hummers and noticed that they favor leafless branches in our Japanese maples. Mr. Jim obliged my planned photo session by trimming a selection of branches for me. I picked out a long one with a pleasing shape, and secured it the front porch column nearest my office windows. I positioned it so that it was about 2-3 feet away from the hanging feeder. Then, with my camera set up right next to the window glass, I began my wait to see if a hummingbird would use it as a perch. Within an hour, one did!
The bird never stayed on the branch for long, so it was a marathon photo session that lasted most of an entire afternoon. I set my camera on continuous shooting mode and snapped off a series of test photos to check lighting, focus, background, etc. As I finally got the settings the way I wanted, overcast skies ruined my lighting and it began to rain. More adjustments were needed, and I wasn’t sure that I was going to get the shot that I had envisioned.
Finally, I captured a plump little pose that is rarely seen, where a hummingbird is sitting down on his feathery rump. And his head was tilted just right so that his beak had acceptable focus within the limited depth of field. The lighting didn’t allow for the bright shimmer of his little feather to be featured, but the muted colors worked out beautifully by the time that I finished my Photoshop magic. I was delighted to get an image that is worthy of an enlargement in a frame.
f/7.1, 1/160 second, ISO 320
Now that you’ve seen my photos and read my post, I hope you will visit A Personal Photo Challenge blog and check out the creative efforts of other participants. Thank you so much!