Photo of the Day - 9/1/2014

September 01, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

I am a very patient impatient person.  Or, maybe, I am a very impatient patient person.  I'm not sure which, but it is certainly true.

I can sit around for hours working on something meticulous or pondering how to get something to work better.  I have jigsaw puzzles that took me months to complete.  I can try 30 slight variations when processing an image to get it "exactly" right.

What I can't do is nothing.

This was brought home to me yesterday while at the Arboretum.  I was chatting with someone by the dahlias on the path behind the MacMillan garden when I spotted what I'm pretty sure was a hummingbird moth.  Followed shortly by several hummingbirds.  So, I switched to my big lens and prepared to take some photos.

The thing about photographing hummingbirds is that they are very fast and don't tend to stay in one place for very long.  5 seconds if you're lucky.  What this means is that you really can't just point and shoot.  First, by the time the autofocus locks in, they will have left.  Plus the time it takes to swing the camera to where they are/were.  No, what you have to do is pick an area, focus, and wait for a bird to enter that area.

I HATE WAITING!!!  I hate sitting there doing nothing.  Anything and everything becomes a welcome distraction.  The monarch fluttering around and landing - I'm there to take some shots.  Spot something on one of the dahlias - click, click, click, click.

And still the hummingbirds don't go where I want them to, where I'm prepared for them.  Then they land on a branch or sign and you get the strange photo of a perched hummingbird, not one on the wing.

Finally, I spot one feeding on some flowers close to where I am watching.  Lots of action ensues and lots of photos are taken.  Maybe a whole minute of excitement.  And then, back to waiting.

And then, I wander off because I can't stand there fidgeting and waiting any more.  I'll wander back later when I feel tired and want to sit in one place for a while.

Below is one of the shots I got after I wandered back.  It is by far the best hummingbird shot I've ever gotten.  And, in many ways, the hardest to capture.

Ruby-Throated HummingbirdRuby-Throated HummingbirdThis one is male. Females don't have a ruby throat.


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