Violet-tailed Sylph on tropical flower

Shot in Western Ecuador with 300 mm lens and multiple flash at Tandayapa in the hills north of Quito

Specific Feedback Requested

Does the slightly yellow foliage and some wilted flowers detract or just show that it was a wild image ?

Technical Details

f13 at 1/250 sec at ISO 320 processed in
Adobe Photoshop Camera Raw


Hi Larry:

First, welcome to NPN. I see this your first post and we’re happy to have you here.

The violet tailed sylph is one of the most beautiful hummingbirds anywhere. Your capture is lovely with the slightly curved tail and the nice wings out pose. The multi-flash lighting is pretty good. You asked about the slightly yellow foliage and wilted flowers. I don’t find them objectionable at all.

I think there are 2 things I’d suggest. I think overall, the image is bit too bright. The purple flower has a lot of visual mass as it is a strong saturated color and it’s bright. I’d tone it down some as well as the overall image.

The hummer looks like it has been over sharpened. Looking at the larger version really shows this issue. I don’t know how much sharpening or processing was done in PS and Camera RAW.

This is a fine image with some minor issues that could make it even better.

We look forward to more of your work and to your participation commenting on the work of other members of NPN. That is what makes this site work.

Welcome to NPN and the Avian forum, Larry. This is a beautiful image and the wilted blossoms at the bottom and yellowed leaves don’t bother me a bit. I agree with Keith’s comments on processing. It looks as if there was some noise in the hummer that really got amplified in the sharpening which seems odd given the settings you had. At that iso I wouldn’t expect any perceptible noise.

However, I think a few tweaks will produce a really fine image. I look forward to seeing more of your work and reading your comments on other participants posts.

Welcome to NPN, Larry. Very pleasing first post. You caught a nice pose and I like the composition. No problems with the foliage.