rufous wings – hummingbird photography

A male rufous speeds back and forth from his guard post on an aspen branch to the feeder to defend against all incoming sippers.  

rufous hummingbird

Being the dominate rufous at my house would not be so difficult, but feeders on every side of the house make defending from a single branch impossible. 

Watching all the feeders throughout the day, I see sippers I might think were being denied if I watched only watch one feeder. Broadtails are still about, but rufous attempts to rule.

Capturing perfectly sharp stills of hovering hummingbirds’ wings was a bit of an obsession for me in the 2005 – 2006 hummingbird seasons here in Consworld.  Now, as I continue to experiment with both natural light and flash hummingbird photography, I’m favoring the blurred wing images over the sharper ones.

hovering rufous

Even with the bill shadow cast on the bird by the midday sun, I like this photo, but might remove the shadow before printing.

6 thoughts on “rufous wings – hummingbird photography

  1. Bob

    I really like the blurred wings on both rufus pictures. Great work.

  2. Mark

    I think both types work (still/blurred) – I have never really tried photographing them much, but know that it takes quite a bit to get the wings perfectly still.

  3. Con Daily Post author

    I think, what I’m going for with the flash is a still wing with a blur around it. I’m not quite there yet. When I was going for the stopped wings with sunlight, only very bright morning light gave me enough light to get the shutter speed I needed. Now that I can fill with flash, I can do that at other times of day but find I’m wanting just some of the blur in my photos. And, while I’m wishing I should tell you I’d like some lovely wildflowers and a nicely blurred background in the image, too!

  4. Tracy

    How cool are these?!?
    I agree, I like the blurred wings. And, personally, I have no problem with the beak shadow. Because the beak is directly facing the viewer, the shadow helps my eye see the form.

  5. Con

    Good point, Tracy. The shadow stays. It has color and detail, unlike some shadows I get when photographing birds at midday. Thanks.

    Thanks, Moe.

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