Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Female

Description: The hummers seem to love the Leopard Lilies.

Specific Feedback Requested: Any

Pertinent technical details or techniques: Canon 60D, Canon 70-300mm IS USM @ 260mm, f/8, 1/8000 sec., ISO 3200, Hand Held. Processed in ACR and PSE 2020 for exposure and cropping. Also cloned out an unwanted flower. Topaz De-noise applied.

Is this a composite? (focus stacks or exposure blends are not considered composites) No

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Fantastic detail in the hummer, Terry. When you are photographing these birds, or other fast wildlife, do you use auto ISO? Just curious. Thanks.

Thanks, Linda. No, I don’t use auto ISO. I usually shoot in Av Mode, which allows me to set the ISO and exposure, and the camera sets the shutter speed.

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Pleasing side view and flower element. Good job on the detail. It appears to be a little noisy to me and I don’t know if you have Topaz De noise which would do a really good job on removing the noise primarily from the background. The other thing I would consider is cloning some of the white plumage on the neck to the area that is slightly blown out. I think you could do that very successfully.

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Great job nailing the focus on this one, Terry. I’ve never tried getting to 1/8000 but it looks like it actually stopped the wings-quite an achievement without using flash. If you ever get into processing enough to go to Photoshop, Tony Kuyper has some methods of cloning just the texture, leaving the color alone that might work well on the neck. However, David’s idea should also work.

So I went ahead and and used the healing brush tool to blend in the plumage texture in the area that was a little blown.
In general, I rarely shoot above 6400th and for hummingbirds I typically shoot around 1250th just to get a bit of blur on the wings. My guess is anything over 2500th would stop all the wing motion. By lowering your shutter speed to 2500th, you would also lower your ISO 3200 to around 1250 to 1600 which would dramatically improve your image quality and decreased noise.

Look at the most recent post of Keith Bauer using a 5 flash set up where his shutter speed was only 200th and the exposure time of the flash is what stops the motion.

Although I have fooled around with multiflash setups for hummingbirds, almost all my images use either one or no flash at all.

@David_Schoen @Dennis_Plank Thanks, guys. I was actually trying to photograph a butterfly in heavy shade that wouldn’t sit still when I turned to see this hummer close by but in full sun. Thus the reason for the high ISO. I think this might be the first time I’ve ever shot at that high of an ISO or shutter speed.

Hi Terry! Love this photo! You sound like me! I’m always trying for one thing and then I see another opportunity that I have to catch and totally forget about my settings! But I think it worked really well for you, never pass up a never to be repeated moment!

Good job by @David_Schoen! A high ISO will also reduce the dynamic range, costing detail in darks and lights. Did you explore the Shadows and Highlights sliders in ACR before opening in PS? If not, there is probably more to bring out, including softening the BG darks. I wonder about trying to make the warm gray area on the left a little more green. Do you have Selective Color in PSE? I’m also surprised you didn’t get more NR from Topaz – do you have a recent version? If you use the auto-detect feature it should have chosen Low Light, and that usually does an amazing job. Do it first thing in PS so it has an even field to work on.

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