Rufous Hummingbird - Interesting Wing Position and Blur from a Multi-flash Setup

Continuing to enjoy photographing the hummingbirds before they continue their migration south. While this was captured using my usual multi-flash setup with 4 flashes, the wing blur and position made this more interesting for me.

Equipment information:

5D Mark IV, 100-400 II @ 400mm

Camera settings:

Settings for this don’t really mean much since the exposure is a function of the flashes, not the shutter speed

What specific feedback would you like?

Does this wing blur work for you?

I’m really enjoying this Keith, the positioning of the flower coming out of the left corner helps lead your eye in, the separation between the flower and the beak is a perfect amount, the bird is incredibly sharp, and I love the slight blur of the wings. I personally do not like frozen wings since we cannot see it that way ourselves and they seem to be floating. Well done!

That’s a very cool result Keith, I am curious if you dialed down the speed of the flashes by increasing the duration (maybe something like 1/4 or 1/8 as opposed to 1/32?)

Nate: I did not change my flash settings. I always run my flashes at 1/16 for multi flash. I think the wing position just happened to be in a position with really fast movement that allowed the blurring of the wings. Other images from the same pass with this bird showed the more expected stopped wings from using a multi-flash setup.

Appealing composition. There have been a number of hummingbird shots lately and for me I prefer a bit of wing blur giving the scene a sense of life rather than the more static feel of the frozen wing shot.

Keith, I prefer the wings without the blur, although I am sure it is a personal taste issue rather than a technical one.

Hello, Keith - yes the wing blur works for sure, if I had to choose I would definitely prefer moment over static. Well done, Cheers, Hans

Very nice Keith, I always enjoy the natural look to the lighting on your Hummingbirds. The blurred wings look just fine, however, in a perfect world somewhere between completely stopped and this would be perfect.
This is awesome as posted!!

Another fine hummer image, Keith. I like the balance provided by the stalk and blossom at opposite end to the hummer. The wing blur works for me - I don’t have a particular preference w.r.t wing blur. Would it be possible to add the flash information in the camera settings?

A very nice image of this little guy, Keith. You have a very nice flash setup and it always looks so natural for lighting in your images. I too like the wing movement. Very nice.

Beautiful light and sharpness in both the hummer and the flower, Keith, and a very well balanced composition with that nice curve to the flower stem. As to your question on the blurred wings, in this case they look rather odd to me. Something about the angle and the transparency gives them almost a pasted-on look to my eye, perhaps because of the sharpness and solidity of the rest of the bird.

I’m curious as to what was different from you normal set-up that caused the wing blur?

Hi Keith,

The wing blur looks fine to me. These hummers must crank those wings to get around the short flash bursts…Jim