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  1. #1
    Senior Member OldClicker's Avatar
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    Continuing hummingbird saga...

    Here are two of today’s. Thanks to the help I have received here I'm making progress. Comments and ideas more than welcome.











    Here's a shot of the current set up.


    Continuing hummingbird saga...-dsc09635.jpg


    For focus, the 200 prime I'm using has a focus lock ring [EDIT - focus limitting ring] and I have it locked at minimum focus distance only. I then put an object (fake butterfly ) where the HB will be and focus by distance like I would a macro. I leave it on AF and hold the remote button down when one approaches. When it gets in the right spot to confirm the focus, the camera/flash actuates.

    The lighting is high left at 1/4 power and low right at 1/16 power. Pretty good accept I'm getting a shadow from the flower on the HB throat when close to the flower.

    Now I need to get more color both on the throat and the green/yellow on the back. What about using a reflector umbrella on the high left flash? Or a third flash with the umbrella? Here is a poor shot that shows the throat when he is looking straight at the camera.


    Continuing hummingbird saga...-dsc09722.jpg

    Any other comments or ideas to improve the shot?

    Thanks for all the help. – Terry
    Last edited by OldClicker; 08-24-2010 at 08:10 AM.
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  2. #2
    Coastal Flyer Coastal Flyer's Avatar
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    Re: Continuing hummingbird saga...

    Terry,

    I struggle mightly trying to get a shot, the old fashion way. You are waaaay too advanced for me. However, the shots are really nice. I can tell you will figure this out. My hat is off to you.

    CF
    Coastal Flyer

    :yikes:

  3. #3
    Re Member LeeIs's Avatar
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    Re: Continuing hummingbird saga...

    I was very amuzed when I saw your first shot. Thought it looked amazing and well captured.. then I saw your set up! Then I got horrified at the amount of work that went in to this lol. Very well done. I'm sorry i can't be of help this is way above my head. Looks like you're on the right track though. having said that, the shots are amazing as they are. I prefer the 1st one. better pose, better eyes.
    Liban

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  4. #4
    Senior Member arne saknussen's Avatar
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    Re: Continuing hummingbird saga...

    Yes, absolutely stunning. How long did it take you, setting up and waiting and all?
    I would suggest cropping the left side of the flower, the light reflection and the size draws a bit too much attention from the wonder of your shot.

  5. #5
    Senior Member armando_m's Avatar
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    Re: Continuing hummingbird saga...

    Amazing preparation! thanks for sharing the details

    The first shot is really worth your efforts

    what is it that actually attracts the HB ?
    the flashes are triggered by radio?

    I was initially surprised you left the camera in AF, with the focus point located about where you expect the HB to be you prevent it from hunting too much, thinking it through, it is the an excellent way to get sharp photos otherwise you'll be hoping the HB is inside the DOF and getting many more blurred images.

    Many times I compare nature photography to hunting, well, except we do not kill

  6. #6
    Member Don Kondra's Avatar
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    Re: Continuing hummingbird saga...

    That's coming along very nicely Terry.

    I would try a reflector bottom right of the flower and/or moving the right side flash closer and farther to the right before introducing another flash.

    The "flower" throws quite a shadow but I think it's worth working with it..

    Cheers, Don

  7. #7
    Senior Member OldClicker's Avatar
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    Re: Continuing hummingbird saga...

    Quote Originally Posted by armando_m
    Amazing preparation! thanks for sharing the details

    The first shot is really worth your efforts
    Thanks for the comments.

    what is it that actually attracts the HB ?
    The feeder is there all the time (as well as two others nearby). When I'm going to shoot, I cover all the feeder ports with masking tape and put sugar water in a little tube that is inside the flower.

    the flashes are triggered by radio?
    I'm triggering the shutter with a wireless remote and the two flashes are triggered by the pop up flash.

    I was initially surprised you left the camera in AF, with the focus point located about where you expect the HB to be you prevent it from hunting too much, thinking it through, it is the an excellent way to get sharp photos otherwise you'll be hoping the HB is inside the DOF and getting many more blurred images.
    The limiting ring is locking the focus at the minimum range so it cannot hunt at all.

    Many times I compare nature photography to hunting, well, except we do not kill
    I find that, for Wildlife shooting, the hunting skills are way more important than the bigger/better/faster gear.

    Terry
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  8. #8
    Senior Member OldClicker's Avatar
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    Re: Continuing hummingbird saga...

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Kondra
    That's coming along very nicely Terry.

    I would try a reflector bottom right of the flower and/or moving the right side flash closer and farther to the right before introducing another flash.

    The "flower" throws quite a shadow but I think it's worth working with it..

    Cheers, Don
    Thanks, Don.

    I don't have a true reflector, but could use white paper or aluminum foil or something. You're concern is the shadow?

    To get the red, I think that I need to think of it as a direct reflection - like a mirror. It looks to me like just left of the camera (maybe 15 deg???) and low would be a place to start.

    Terry
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  9. #9
    Senior Member OldClicker's Avatar
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    Re: Continuing hummingbird saga...

    Quote Originally Posted by Coastal Flyer
    Terry,

    I struggle mightly trying to get a shot, the old fashion way. You are waaaay too advanced for me. However, the shots are really nice. I can tell you will figure this out. My hat is off to you.

    CF
    Thanks! - Terry
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  10. #10
    Senior Member OldClicker's Avatar
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    Re: Continuing hummingbird saga...

    Quote Originally Posted by LeeIs
    I was very amuzed when I saw your first shot. Thought it looked amazing and well captured.. then I saw your set up! Then I got horrified at the amount of work that went in to this lol. Very well done. I'm sorry i can't be of help this is way above my head. Looks like you're on the right track though. having said that, the shots are amazing as they are. I prefer the 1st one. better pose, better eyes.
    Thanks. I've been working on this for most of the month. Only problem is that I'm not shooting anything else. - Terry
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  11. #11
    Senior Member OldClicker's Avatar
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    Re: Continuing hummingbird saga...

    Quote Originally Posted by arne saknussen
    Yes, absolutely stunning. How long did it take you, setting up and waiting and all?
    I would suggest cropping the left side of the flower, the light reflection and the size draws a bit too much attention from the wonder of your shot.
    Thank you.

    It takes about 20 min to set it up in the morning since I just move everything mostly assembled into the basement at night. The best shooting time for my location is from about 7am noon, so I'm watching/shooting on and off during this time. I also have to refill the tube in the flower with sugar water after every visit since they drink almost all of it.

    I tried cropping the flower to just left of that top petal and it certainly does emphasize the bird more. I will keep playing with it - don't know about centering him that much???

    Terry
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  12. #12
    COEXIST DGK*CRONE's Avatar
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    Re: Continuing hummingbird saga...

    The first picture is great! Thanks for responding to so many questions. I have learned a lot from this thread.

    thank you
    Marco Arreguin

    All critique/advice welcome.
    Growing every day.

  13. #13
    Member Don Kondra's Avatar
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    Re: Continuing hummingbird saga...

    Quote Originally Posted by OldClicker
    Thanks, Don.

    I don't have a true reflector, but could use white paper or aluminum foil or something. You're concern is the shadow?
    The shadow is causing a slight loss of detail on the eye and throat. Even white foamcore will work as a reflector. I've never tried tin foil but you would think that would work better ?

    To get the red, I think that I need to think of it as a direct reflection - like a mirror. It looks to me like just left of the camera (maybe 15 deg???) and low would be a place to start.

    Terry
    You need to get yourself a stuffed hummingbird to practice on

    Seriously though, a stuffed animal perhaps.. ? Maybe a plastic kids toy, something that is slightly reflective so you can see the effect of the flash.

    One other thing I may not have mentioned, my shoots improved slightly when I started placing the camera parallel to the feeder. More of the body was in focus.

    Cheers, Don

  14. #14
    Nature/Wildlife Forum Co-Moderator Loupey's Avatar
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    Re: Continuing hummingbird saga...

    Terry, these are so much improved compared to the first set. The lighting looks more natural, the wings are less blurred, and the posture (in the first image) appears normal.

    I think the slower shutter (within the x-sync) helped better capture the wing by allowing the strobe to fire normally.

    Did the lack of pre-flash help capture a higher percentage of keepers?

    As for the gorget, you may need a third flash near the camera to try to get those feathers to "light up".

    Great strides you're making.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member OldClicker's Avatar
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    Re: Continuing hummingbird saga...

    Quote Originally Posted by Loupey
    Terry, these are so much improved compared to the first set. The lighting looks more natural, the wings are less blurred, and the posture (in the first image) appears normal.

    I think the slower shutter (within the x-sync) helped better capture the wing by allowing the strobe to fire normally.

    Did the lack of pre-flash help capture a higher percentage of keepers?

    As for the gorget, you may need a third flash near the camera to try to get those feathers to "light up".

    Great strides you're making.
    Thanks, Loupey.

    I certainly can do a lot more with the flashes on non-HSS since they have so much more power. The keeper rate do to reaction is still pretty low. I'm not sure that the control flash 'knows' that the remotes are on manual, so it may still pre-flash for TTL enough to scare them. I cannot see any pre-flash looking at it. I'm looking for the parts for a wired solution, but will probably not have them before the HBs head south. Also, I've been searching/reading what I can find and some claim that the noise of the mirror slap is the worse problem.

    I have a low-center flash in the set up today along with an umbrella on the high-left. Here is a shot from today (a little soft, though). I think it has good throat light. It's a female, correct? I may also need a top light or reflector to better reflect the back green. Do you think the umbrella may remove some of the texture?






    Terry
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  16. #16
    Nature/Wildlife Forum Co-Moderator Loupey's Avatar
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    Re: Continuing hummingbird saga...

    I like the lighting/texture better on the original shot. Also this latest image must have been taken when the ambient lighting was brighter as the blurred areas of the wings exposed during the un-flashed duration is more pronounced.

    I see from your setup that the entire rig is portable (including the feeder). I also see that there appears to be open areas of your yard. Any thoughts on doing this with the rig out in the sunlight with no strobes? I would suggest putting the rising morning sun coming over your left shoulder (if you were manning your camera). Even if the sunlight is dappled, it might work. Your DOF will be much more reduced as you increase your SS so getting the exact placement of the focus will be pretty tough done remotely.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member Anbesol's Avatar
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    Re: Continuing hummingbird saga...

    EExxcellent work clicker!! I love the wacky posture of the second one too! Would like to see maybe if you could clone in the eye from the first so his eye is open. The only other thing I'd like to see is a boost in the contrast in the background, maybe a bending of the curve down and/or raising black point. (but doing so without adjust the tones of the flower or bird)

    Seriously awesome stuff, I am really wanting to try this out myself but I'm afraid of all that work! Maan you are committed to the task!

    *edit - ooooh I thought of something else that might improve the shot, is a slight softening of the flower, so the hummingbird is the only thing in total sharp focus.

  18. #18
    Senior Member OldClicker's Avatar
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    Re: Continuing hummingbird saga...

    Quote Originally Posted by Anbesol
    EExxcellent work clicker!! I love the wacky posture of the second one too! Would like to see maybe if you could clone in the eye from the first so his eye is open. The only other thing I'd like to see is a boost in the contrast in the background, maybe a bending of the curve down and/or raising black point. (but doing so without adjust the tones of the flower or bird)

    Seriously awesome stuff, I am really wanting to try this out myself but I'm afraid of all that work! Maan you are committed to the task!

    *edit - ooooh I thought of something else that might improve the shot, is a slight softening of the flower, so the hummingbird is the only thing in total sharp focus.
    Sorry I missed this reply.

    I hope to get better ones so that I don't have to work that hard cloning.

    I'll try not sharpening the flower on one and see what happens. Now I select just the bird and flower for sharpening.

    Terry
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  19. #19
    Senior Member OldClicker's Avatar
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    Re: Continuing hummingbird saga...

    Here is one with the flower softened. Seem that I still go to the bright red first. - Terry



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