Saturday, February 23, 2013

Pic of the Day

Broad-tailed Hummingbird, Selasphorus platycercus: Immature Male

     typically shoot hummingbirds using five, flash unites to stop some of the wing motion and to light an artificial background.  But this bird was shot without flash while approaching a feeder at the general viewing platform at the Santa Rita Lodge in Madera Canyon.
     As I watched the hummingbirds zip back and forth to the feeder the strong backlighting illuminated the wings, making there circular motion visually apparent.  I was mesmerized by the swirling, helicopter like motion of the wings, and had to get a photo.
     As the hummer zipped to the feed to lap-up the sugar water it would feed for a moment, then back away for a few seconds.  As it backed away from the feeder I shot a burst of five or six images.  This image captured the figure eight, front to back and up and down, motion used by hummer as they hovers.
     Though I used a 1/250 second shutter speed the lower body is blurred as well, while the head and bill are relatively sharp.  This shows that the body itself is also in rapid motion as well. 
Nikon D7000, Nikkor 500mm f4, 1/250 sec. @ f6.3, Gitzo Tripod, Arca Swiss Monoball head.

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