Sometimes you’re so close and yet so far away

Written by Daniel Gregory

July 8, 2021

We have a number of hummingbirds that live in our yard. Lori and I have spent a lot of time planting and making a yard for the local wildlife to enjoy as much as we have. This time of year lots of the plants are in bloom that the hummingbirds love so they are around all day. I love to watch them defend the plants from each other, zoom around the yard, and hoover when eating off the honeysuckles or other such plants.

However, if you have ever tried to photograph hummingbirds, you know that these little birds are hella fast. Like really fast. I have lots of images of empty tree branches. They also have a wing speed that given their angle of movement, shutter speeds, the direction of travel you can think you get the shot only to find part of a wing missing which makes for a strange image you wouldn’t normally share. In the image below, you can see that 1/1600 of a second wasn’t the right decision. The great part of photography is that we get that instant feedback and can apply it the next time we go out photographing.

The same lesson can be applied to our gear. I have been working with my mirrorless camera for my little hummingbird project rather than my DSLR. I always like to know what my skills are with my gear and how to deal with both the gear and limitations I have. I have found it to be a great learning experience as the speed of these birds is at the edge of the speed of the EVF system. All in all it is a lot of fun and great to learn.

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