Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Patience for the Portrait of a Hummingbird

If you live in the Americas the chances that you have hummingbirds nearby for at least part of the year are pretty good. If you or a neighbor have a hummingbird feeder the probability of having hummingbirds goes way up. Most hummingbirds that visit feeders are fairly tolerant of people. Because of this you can often get fairly close to them. This can be very helpful in capturing the portrait of a hummingbird especially if you toss in one of their potential habits. Most hummingbirds are creatures of habit. They love to perch in the same spot after feeding. This morning I sat and watched the hummingbirds in my backyard from out the window for about twenty minutes before I even picked up my camera. During that time period I discovered several perches that they loved to use. Next I grabbed my camera and focused it on the perch they were using most. I stood motionless behind the camera for about ten minutes or so. You could also just sit back in a chair and not move too much. Following that I moved forward a couple of steps and repeated the process. I did this several times until I was about eight feet away. (My camera won't focus any closer than that!) From this distance I was able to get some really nice portraits. Be sure to watch the backgrounds behind your subject. One other thing that you can do if your camera has a remote is to set your camera on a tripod focused on the perch. Then slowly over time move the camera closer and closer to the perch while you sit much further away. It is incredible how close you can get your camera to a hummingbird using this technique. Go out and give it a try. It's good to be outdoors enjoying nature. God's love and blessings to all, chris


  1. delicately beautiful! the colours are attractive! excellent shot! :)

  2. Yep! These are gorgeous and have spent hours waiting for these guys. The Allen's are shyer and like to play games with me. Great shots, I so need to get me a new lens !Love all your pics !

  3. Wonderful and beautiful images! I have set up a chair before and sat waiting for them and have gotten OK images so I agree it can be done. :-)