Up, up and away!

One of the only decent images I’ve managed over the last few days of this little male ruby throat at the flowers on the deck. Lately I’ve just sucked at getting anything good, but I liked this change of direction the bird is about to take. They move so fast and in such small spaces that they are super hard to follow. I liked this funny little pose - the feet!

Specific Feedback Requested

Anything helpful is welcome.

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
Lumix G9
Panny/Leica 100-400mm f/4-6.3 lens @ 350mm (700mm equiv.)
f/5.9 | 1/1000 sec | ISO 800
Handheld, braced on knees sitting on the couch across from the flower pot on the railing

Lr processed for the vertical crop to eliminate a bit of flowers, general exposure adjustments then to Ps for sharpening on one layer with a mask to bring in the noise reduction on the lower layer. Used Smart Sharpen on the bird.


Beautifully sharp, Kris, and I like the colors of the gorget. It’s cool to get them somewhere between no flash and full red. A better wing position would be nice, but this works with the pose you caught. Wing position is a complete crap shoot on all small birds and even more so on these.

Thanks Dennis. Yeah, wing position is a big crap shoot.

One thing I have noticed is the boldness difference between this and the female in the territory. She is nesting and possibly as a result, much more timid around us on the deck. He will come quite close and stay longer while she zips away at the least movement.

I agree with Dennis on this one. Everything is exceptionally well done. Keep trying to get a better pose and you will succeed.

Thanks, David. They get a break today while I hang out with my neighbors at our block party (well, dead end road party, lol). Maybe tomorrow I can try again if the weather holds. I figure something will work out if I keep at it long enough.

Nice capture especially of the ruby throat. I think you can use a faster shutter speed at this aperture and ISO to help with catching the wings and some of the whites look slightly hot to me. They are tough to catch just right but it is a lot of fun.

Hi Kristen
Kristen, Hummingbirds are a very changing bird to photograph. It may help to us a silent shutter. From my own experience with Hummingbirds the shutter sound and send them off in all direction, making hard to keep them in a frame. I like your framing on the shot and just have fun.

Thanks Allen & Peter - yeah, a faster shutter speed would be useful and maybe I can try today. Balancing that with ISO is always the hard part.

My camera is in silent almost all the time, btw. Being mirrorless it’s darn quiet so that doesn’t spook them, it’s our presence and my moving the camera up to my eye.

Wonderful pose with great IQ and a lovely BG! I wonder about raising the shadows a touch but that’s a very minor nit.

When I’m shooting hummers I’m on a tripod with a gimbal head with only a little drag set, with my hands on the shutter and body so I can aim with little movement. I have rigged elbow supports so I can hold out quite a while – with occasional breaks to reach for a conveniently-located cup of coffee or other libation according to the time of day.