July 13, 2013

A Personal Photo Challenge - Birds


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!

19 comments:

  1. On Cr**!! I missed this one! Please forgive because it wasn't intentional...Toooo friggin' much going on here at home and at the shop.
    Your shot is Out of This World Gorgeous Donna! I don't know How you do it! Looks like you asked him to sit for you...
    ((((HUG)))

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  2. Oh goodness...that is a awesome picture of a hummingbird! I expected nothing less from you!

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  3. It's a winner! I have never seen anything like it in books or online or anywhere. Ah...may...zzzzzing! Crystal clear and a glint in his eye...marvelous. See. This took a great deal of thought and work. Photography is work? Ackkkk...what a concept! One more thing...the design that went into that little bird. His little neck looks just like a pine cone. The details that can be appreciated when a shot is so beautifully crisp.

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  4. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!!!! I LOVE it!

    xoxo

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  5. What a shot! Sounds like you worked extra-hard to get it and your efforts were rewarded beautifully. I'd frame it too, if I took that one. A real winner.

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  6. Donna I can't add my link to you this morning - says it's Closed! Can you link for me perhaps please? If not I'll just try later.

    LOVE your pic today!

    Hugs - Mary

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  7. Outstanding shot! It's adorable! Love this post Donna and thanks for hosting this challenge too...enjoy your day!

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  8. Oh. My. Goodness!!!!!!!! I have never seen a more lovely hummer shot! It is AMAZING Donna. Your perseverance paid off - what a perfect reward. I would frame it for sure. It is perfectly sharp and crisp- the feathers are so beautiful. I want to hold this little darling and pat him.
    Thanks so much for hosting this Challenge Donna, I will join in again for sure!

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  9. This is just incredible! My hubby is headed over here to see this photo. We've seen them sit back like that but never got a good photo. You even had a perfect background! Amazing!!! I'm loving the photo challenge this month! Hugs!

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  10. that is marvelous!!! his little squatting pose is adorable!

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  11. Donna!! This shot is absolutely gorgeous, a clear example of the difference between a shutterbug and a photographer. Your planning and patience paid off.
    Thanks again for hosting this challenge, it's such fun.

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  12. That is a gorgeous shot!! Love the eye light! I'll have to learn how to include the photo settings with my pictures. I haven't tried that yet. I'm looking forward to learning a lot with this challenge. Thanks so much for hosting!

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  13. Hello Donna
    I can see why with all the effort putt into this capture, only one photo was needed. You were crafty to lure the hummers with the branch and patience, which paid off. I've never seen one sitting on its rump like this - an excellent and enviable photo for sure.
    Thanks for hosting.
    Judith

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  14. Donna
    The details are amazing!
    You patience sure paid off.

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  15. Donna, this shot is stunning!! You are one. talented. photographer! I am agreeing with your other commenters...this is frame worthy for sure. Love!

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  16. WOW. No make that double WOW. That is beautiful

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  17. Well done Donna..well done!
    Amazing. You have great patience.

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  18. awesome photo of the hummer, I'm visiting from a personal photo challenge

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  19. Hi Donna,

    I tried yesterday to leave a comment on this post from my iphone but it didn't work. I was so excited to see this hummingbird photo and to read how involved it was to capture it. Nice also that you shared the how-to and camera setting. You are a most talented and skilled photographer and I so appreciate that you share it with us.

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Marty, here! Donna loves comments, and I faithfully pass them on to her. Thank you so much for visiting!