I continued my ongoing experiment photographing Hummingbirds, I’m going to level a bit here I am not particularly enamored with them. I like them flying around and watching them but as far as taking pictures of them, I’m indifferent to them for the most part. However I view pictures of them every day, most follow the same theme of either approaching a feeder, leaving it or feeding at it. Thirty percent are of them free flying in mid air which is an astonishing accomplishment considering how fast the little boogers are.

I divided my experiment in two parts, the first was to set the camera with a slow shutter speed to capture the wings with a slight blur. When I figure out how to get them from my iPad to WordPress I’ll write a blog about it. It was a success after all I ended up with about 25 keepers from a total of nearly 100 images; that’s a good ratio. This Hummingbird or its twin, comes by almost each morning. However after phase one of my experiment he didn’t show for the rest of that day nor the next. The camera was ready I was ready (for a change) but the bird didn’t show.

All of these images are of the same bird; there are several sub-species among them and I am not knowledgeable at all as to what they are. They are fun to watch, fun to photograph I have discovered which may be the draw for many photographers. The sky was overcast as seen in the background of the photos, in the editor I was pleased that some colors came out. However my disappointment was they were not as brilliant as many of the photos I view. This little one is mostly green; for whatever that’s worth.

The bird in the photos was in a good spot, in other words he didn’t move around a lot but kept taking nectar from this branch of the Rosemary bush at the edge of the Levee. My experiment is a success, I’m happy with that after learning a tub full about it which will help me take images of other fast flyers. I remain in awe with those capable of taking a photo of them zipping through the air at a high rate of speed. I managed to take a few of in mid-air but it had just left the branch and it was obvious.

The main challenge for me other than balancing my coffee on one knee and a camera on the other is keeping the focus on them which I suspect is common when photographing fast birds. I managed to take a few of it while perching on a nearby limb.

It looks like a puffed up small ball of feathers with no color only a drab grey. Most birds beautiful plumage is not colorful without natural light, I find that interesting. It goes hand in hand with my theory of how Crows and Ravens are able to tell friend from foe by sight. I suspect birds see an entirely different color wheel than humans do. I have no proof outside of the thoughts of a curious old man watching birds and critters for most of the day. There are times the Hummingbirds are bursting in color, they may very well be different sub-species perhaps I will begin studying them to find an answer. This may be an indication I’m bout to begin another quest; realistically I don’t think it will be difficult to find information on them.

I took a number of photos, over 75 of Cormorants when the Sun peeked through the lower layer of clouds for several minutes.

They are tough for me to photograph due to their dark plumage, the Sun must be at the correct angle and intensity for a picture to show detail. Their feathers are not waterproof which is the reason they are seen on high ground with their wings spread to the wind. The moisture makes them a tough subject as well due to the reflections off of the feathers. The dark feathers with a light brush of water on them is in effect a mirror reflecting the bright Sun. This morning was different although it was a “good” light it was a bit diffused casting a softer illumination on the bird; I was fortunate to be there and capture it. I caught a few other birds as well, some succeeded some didn’t but that’s the way it goes.

It was as every morning is when I wake up excited to get up and out, it’s the excitement of greeting another day that wakes me at 4am then waiting for the first indication of dawn when my feet hit the deck.

Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance

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