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11/9/2018 9:21:38 PM
Posted: 7/30/2018 6:57:20 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/30/2018 7:03:29 PM EST by VacaDuck]
Please?

Trying to nail down settings for good, properly exposed shots.

Details are:

Nikon D7200
70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G
165mm - ISO 800
1/4000s - f/5.6



Link to RAW file:

RAW File (NEF)
Link Posted: 7/30/2018 7:20:50 PM EST
A higher shutter to stop the wing. I got decent shots in the hoary past at 1/4000 with a 50mm F1.8
on film, probably kodacolor 400.
Try 1/8000 otherwise i think it is a very nice shot!
Link Posted: 7/30/2018 7:27:36 PM EST
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Originally Posted By cistercian:
A higher shutter to stop the wing. I got decent shots in the hoary past at 1/4000 with a 50mm F1.8
on film, probably kodacolor 400.
Try 1/8000 otherwise i think it is a very nice shot!
View Quote
This time I wasn't worrying about getting a good stop on the wings. Just trying to get my focus and exposure in control.
Link Posted: 7/30/2018 7:40:58 PM EST
Link Posted: 7/30/2018 7:42:56 PM EST
Technically, nothing at all wrong with it.

Artistically, look into some cropping action.

Example:
This first one is a bit noisy due to the combination of cropping and ISO (5000). Shutter was 1/1600

Hummer Hover Wings Forward OOC by FredMan, on Flickr

Hummer Hover Wings Forward by FredMan, on Flickr

Here's another; same ISO 5000 but the shutter was 1/4000. Cropping really lets you show what you want to show, and gets rid of distracting compositional items.

Ruby-throated Departure OOC by FredMan, on Flickr

Ruby-throated Departure by FredMan, on Flickr
Link Posted: 7/30/2018 7:48:07 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Zack3g:
Take a run through my flickr album, most of the shots have EXIF enabled.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zack3g/albums/72157656840101364

The best thing that will help you is having one or more flashes to assist you.

You can see this in the above linked album, comparing the uppermost images to the lower ones.

Exposure is the least important part of the equation to consider though. Shooting raw, this can often be adjusted in post.

The stuff you really need to concentrate on is what cannot be fixed in post, namely focus and composition (obstructions and the like) because there's not much to be done for these after the shot's been taken.

You can crop and do minor edits to kinda shift the composition around but if there's a big fuck ugly feeder taking up most of the frame, there's not really much to be done about that. Try to avoid this. Also if your background sucks, there's not much you can do about that either.

As to the focus...this is the #1 priority. Make sure your camera's focus is accurate, and make sure you're doing your part to get absolute focus on your subject.

Let the shutter speed and the flash freeze the wings for you (or not, depending on the look you're going for) and the exposure can kinda come after. Remember Nikon sensors are rather ISO invariant so if you're a bit over or under on the exposure (often up to 5 stops or so) you can correct it in post...if you're shooting raw.

A few examples to kinda drive some of these points home:

#1 - focus

https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8702/16885043847_5a118ec315_b.jpgDSC_1146 by Zack, on Flickr

The above image would have been pretty awesome if it wasn't out of focus. This particular example was a mixed hardware and software problem, as I was never really able to dial in the 70-200 + 2x to get genuinely sharp images. Also, I just plain didn't do a good enough job on my end of the shooting.

Compare the above to this

https://farm1.staticflickr.com/782/21139569184_bb067c6126_b.jpgDSC_7032 by Zack, on Flickr

Much nicer just because the focus is there and you can count the feathers. The background is a bit less interesting here though.

2: composition

There are good ways and bad ways to feature the bird feeder in an image. It's often best to avoid the feeder completely if possible but sometimes it provides relevant context to the image.

Bad example:

https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8825/16924537450_263bb5f912_b.jpgDSC_1474 by Zack, on Flickr

Not quite so bad:

https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8768/17295981521_f8ac754a4f_b.jpgDSC_1760 by Zack, on Flickr

This one's pretty decent:

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5759/21628094805_1835d3be75_b.jpgDSC_6632 by Zack, on Flickr

point #3 - try to catch the bird doing something interesting. (if you're documenting the bird, like I was doing with the rufous this is less important)

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5760/21439962650_42425755e4_b.jpgDSC_6645 by Zack, on Flickr

Focus leaves a bit to be desired (again, that 70-200+2x thing) but how often do you see this?

Point #4 - ignore everything I've just said if it works for the image.

https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8157/29606929675_09fa742372_b.jpgDSC_3105-Edit by Zack, on Flickr
View Quote
I have to work with the feeder. Otherwise, the birds are across the creek in the oaks, hidden in shade. Probably 10 yards from whre I can set up and 15 to 20 ' up in the trees.

I do need to finally break down and get a good flash.

If you zoom in, I did capture a bit of the tongue sticking out. More luck than anything.

I tried using a focus chart on the wall, but I think I need to do the ruler at an angle method to make sure my autofocus is adjusted properly. That, and get my new contact prescription filed so I can see more clearly.
Link Posted: 7/30/2018 7:49:02 PM EST
And I'll second what Zack said about showing the bird doing something, or looking a bit out of the ordinary. Hummingbirds are a low-percentage subject; my keepers usually run about 5-10% mainly because they move so fast you're liable to miss focus or framing.

Ruby-throated Tongue by FredMan, on Flickr

Female Ruby-throated Landing by FredMan, on Flickr

DSC_8556-Chitter by FredMan, on Flickr
Link Posted: 7/30/2018 7:55:27 PM EST
Hummingbirds are the best birds.
Link Posted: 7/30/2018 7:57:55 PM EST
Link Posted: 7/30/2018 8:38:17 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Zack3g:

You can work around the feeder without much difficulty.

You can use your lens and body position to eliminate or minimize the appearance of the feeder.

You can also set up a few perching sticks nearby and the birds *will* use them. People don't often see hummingbirds sitting down, because they don't give them a safe place to sit. They spend a good part of their day sitting trying to conserve energy.
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They've got plenty of places to perch near the feeder. Mean little bastard prefers to hide in the oaks so he can ambush the competition.
Link Posted: 7/30/2018 8:52:16 PM EST
Clean your feeder
Link Posted: 7/30/2018 8:54:18 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Buzzworth:
Clean your feeder
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I do every week. It's old now and should be replaced with a new one.
Link Posted: 8/1/2018 6:43:16 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/1/2018 6:47:49 AM EST by L_JE]
If 1/4000th doesn't freeze the motion, I'm not sure if 1/8000th would be any better. Maybe put some sedatives in the hummingbird food to slow them down a notch?

Also, the problem with most hummingbird photos, not just this one, is the prominence of the MadeInChina plastic feeder.

Sedatives, and some nice glasswork, maybe? But, this advice sounds like I'm steering you towards your local head shop, and I don't condone stuff like that, man.
Link Posted: 8/1/2018 8:24:28 PM EST
I am not worthy to critique ANY of these pics............very nice pics!!!! Thanks to all for posting!!
Link Posted: 8/1/2018 8:25:16 PM EST
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Originally Posted By L_JE:
If 1/4000th doesn't freeze the motion, I'm not sure if 1/8000th would be any better. Maybe put some sedatives in the hummingbird food to slow them down a notch?

Also, the problem with most hummingbird photos, not just this one, is the prominence of the MadeInChina plastic feeder.

Sedatives, and some nice glasswork, maybe? But, this advice sounds like I'm steering you towards your local head shop, and I don't condone stuff like that, man.
View Quote
Well, 1/8000 is twice as fast! I must say the photographers here are epic. Best hummingbird pics I have ever seen.

To OP. Listen to Zack. His pictures are epic!

I need to put a feeder up...but where I am in the city, I don't get very many. I get the hummingbird mimic moth on
our butterfly bush a couple of times a year. So far this year a no show. Coolest insect ever.
Link Posted: 8/1/2018 8:53:00 PM EST
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Originally Posted By cistercian:

Well, 1/8000 is twice as fast! I must say the photographers here are epic. Best hummingbird pics I have ever seen.

To OP. Listen to Zack. His pictures are epic!

I need to put a feeder up...but where I am in the city, I don't get very many. I get the hummingbird mimic moth on
our butterfly bush a couple of times a year. So far this year a no show. Coolest insect ever.
View Quote
I think they actually look more like winged crawdads, but wat do I know...

DSC_1989-Hummingbird Clearwing Knapweed by FredMan, on Flickr

DSC_1986-Hummingbird Clearwing Knapweed by FredMan, on Flickr
Link Posted: 8/1/2018 8:57:17 PM EST
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Originally Posted By FredMan:
Originally Posted By cistercian:

Well, 1/8000 is twice as fast! I must say the photographers here are epic. Best hummingbird pics I have ever seen.

To OP. Listen to Zack. His pictures are epic!

I need to put a feeder up...but where I am in the city, I don't get very many. I get the hummingbird mimic moth on
our butterfly bush a couple of times a year. So far this year a no show. Coolest insect ever.
I think they actually look more like winged crawdads, but wat do I know...

https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8651/28123572872_9f3a22c16f_b.jpgDSC_1989-Hummingbird Clearwing Knapweed by FredMan, on Flickr

https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8597/27946706600_429079526e_b.jpgDSC_1986-Hummingbird Clearwing Knapweed by FredMan, on Flickr
Great shots! I saw a mimic as a boy in western PA before I had seen my first hummingbird. Your photos are epic.
Also crawdads do not hum as they hover!
Link Posted: 8/1/2018 9:37:32 PM EST
Heck, here's some of my older shots.

DSC_3175_HummerLand-lzn by FredMan, on Flickr

DSC_4912_FanTail2-lzn by FredMan, on Flickr

DSC_7779-Flight by FredMan, on Flickr

DSC_8585-Hover by FredMan, on Flickr
Link Posted: 8/2/2018 7:01:29 PM EST
Seeing all these just reinforces that I need a LOT more practice!
Link Posted: 8/10/2018 12:55:44 AM EST
Can I throw one in?

Link Posted: 8/11/2018 1:23:41 AM EST
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Dude, nice shot!!!!
Link Posted: 8/11/2018 5:02:42 PM EST
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Originally Posted By cistercian:

Dude, nice shot!!!!
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Thanks.

Spent an hour sitting by the back door watching them come in. That was the better of the shots. A lot were good, but that one had the best overall composition and wasn’t just a “hey look, a hummingbird.”

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