23 August 2012


Here in Michigan August is the absolute best time of the year to photograph the jewels of the bird world; hummingbirds. At this time of year the young have fledged and hummingbirds are feeding constantly as they put on weight for their journey south. Virtually all of my hummingbird photography takes place around feeders. I generally make two different types of images of these tiny birds. The first and most basic is to make photographs of the birds as they sit perched near the feeders.

If you have spent any time watching hummingbirds at feeders you have likely noticed that each of the individual birds has a couple favorite perches that they return to time after time. Photographing the birds on these perches is just a matter of setting up on the particular perch and waiting for the bird to return.  Another method I like to use is to place a perch right next to the feeder. I use a light stand with a small ballhead mounted on top to get the perch in just the right spot so the bird has a comfortable place to sit while it feeds (I buy feeders without built in perches). Then it is just a matter of waiting until the bird stops feeding and sits up straight enabling you to create a nice image.

Next post I will write about the other method of photographing these amazing birds. Using high-speed flash to photograph them in flight!

Good luck and good light!



Image: White-throated Mountain Gem, Costa Rica