Hummingbird Fight

Critique Style Requested: Standard

The photographer is looking for generalized feedback about the aesthetic and technical qualities of their image.


While recently visiting a local community garden, I saw several hummingbirds fighting over the feeders and flowers there. I plan on going back and hope for better wing positions but I like the beak to beak duel in this shot.

Specific Feedback


Technical Details

Canon R7, 400mm f4 DO IS II, 1.4x extender III, monopod
ISO 800, f8, 1/2500s

Processed in DXO Pure Raw 3 and Photoshop.


Oh man! I’ve been trying for a shot like this for years. Incredibly hard to get. Bravo! You got 'em. I sure wouldn’t change a thing.

What Dave said!!! I’ve tried for this kind of shot lots of times, but never got both in good focus, if I managed to get on them at all.

Hi Allen
Dave and Dennis nailed it. great shot. I am beginning to wonder why anyone would spend 2X the money to buy the larger full frame cameras.

Another color me green photo. I’ve seen these kinds of battles often and have a video clip of one (kinda), but never got a still. And what a still you got! The feet! The tails! The beaks! Tremendous. I don’t know how you did it, but great skill on display here. And boy, are they ever crabby little birds.

@Dave_Douglass @Dennis_Plank @peter @Kris_Smith

Thanks for the comments!
As far as technique, I used a monopod to focus on whatever bird was perched on top of the feeder pole in guard position. I needed the monopod because I couldn’t hand hold long enough to wait for the action. The bird would fly up to respond to an incoming bird. I would follow the rising bird and try to keep them on the side of the frame that his/her back was close to leaving room in front for the opposing bird to enter the frame. I would start bursting once the opposing bird entered the frame. Animal eye tracking really helped keeping the focus on one of the birds.
Hope this might help if y’all try for a shot like this.


Thanks, Allen. That sounds like a good technique.

Wonderful and amazing! Both beaks open and both ready for feet-to-feet combat! And of course perfect focus and detail.

A great example of luck favoring the prepared – and the patient. Make luck lower case and Prepared and Patient upper case! Hope we get to see more of these amazing encounters. These little guys are so feisty!

1 Like

An amazing shot. I’ve seen these interactions many times, but never came close to getting a shot.

I have never been able to capture two humming birds in one image like this. Congratulations on that. I also love the fanned out tails on hummers and you got both of them fanned out. Nicely done!!

It had all been said before I saw this. Great shot! I’ve taken a lot of hummingbird photos and I know how difficult it is to get an image like this. I never have.

Oddly, one thing I like about this is that it shows the side of these birds that isn’t cute and fuzzy.

What a great shot!