Hummingbird Photography

7 November 2013 At Your Leisure

Hummingbird Photography
Taking the perfect picture of a hummingbird requires a bit of strategy, a touch of know-how, and a ton of patience.

Fortunately, hummingbirds are not shy and will stay near the cottage for the entire summer.

How to photograph hummingbirds

Feeder Location
Place the hummingbird feeder near the deck. We hang ours on a tree branch, but you can also set up a pole to do the trick.

The deck is ideal because it gives you a stable location to set up the tripod close to the feeder.

Best hummingbird feeders?
There is no shortage of low-cost options for hummingbird feeders. Simply choose one that suits your situation.

The feeder shown below is a simple, yet popular model.

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Tripod Use
Taking photos of hummingbirds at the cottage is a perfect opportunity to use the old tripod. Shaky hands will ruin the photo if you try to shoot without using this handy stabilizing device.

If the tripod isn’t available, try to use a stack of boxes, or a picnic table.

Remote Control
Use a remote control to take the picture.  Avoiding camera movements caused by pressing your finger on the shutter-release button can be the difference between a perfect picture and another file for the garbage bin.

Burst Mode
Take hundreds of shots. The beauty of the digital SLR camera is the ability to take endless photos in search of the perfect one.  Burst away!

Shutter Speed
Adjust the shutter speed. The auto setting is usually not fast enough.

There is no secret recipe in this situation. You just have to gradually increase the shutter speed until you get the shot you want. Remember to balance the exposure with the corresponding changes to your aperture and ISO settings.

A sunny day is preferable to catch the brilliant colours from the tiny feathers of the hummingbirds. Experiment with different times of the day to see when you get the best results.

Happy shooting!

Feature photo by: Andrew S. Walker