One of the biggest surprises in SoCal living has been my hummingbird feeder. It was a spur-of-the-moment purchase, now suctioned to a window from our family room. The birds hit my feeder dozens of times a day, year round.
Photographing hummingbirds is tough. Their wings flap rapidly. Very high shutter speeds must be used.
High shutter speed means less light gets in the lens. Even in bright daylight my camera, a Canon 7D, is being pushed near its limit.
Everything happens quickly. No time for autofocus. My lens is open to f/8 and pre-focused where the birds are most likely to light.
Sometimes that works. Most times it doesn’t. Over 300 photos for the six you see here!
Magic Lantern software loaded into my camera controls when the photo is shot. It looks for changes in the frame, then shoots three times.
There are lots of out-of-focus snaps and plenty where the bird is partially out-of-frame. Sometimes a puff of wind will rock the feeder and… click, click, click. It’s expected most shots will be deleted.
This is a technique thing. If you know how to do it and spend enough time, you’ll get the shot. Otherwise, shooting hummingbirds is nearly impossible.