Laura Macky Photography

Journey of a body on this earth

Hummingbird #1


Ta da!  This is my very first hummingbird photo!  A few days ago I hung a feeder outside and it seems the little birds love it.  🙂  It was fun trying to capture them.

One of my camera club members recommended using a flash, however, I don’t own one.  He was going to explain all this at our next meeting Thursday.  It might be something I can get in the not-to-distant future.  Someone else suggested I get a real flower (one that hummingbirds like) and put it on top of the feeder with a tiny bit of sugar water on it.  By doing this I can (hopefully) capture the hummingbird with the flower in the shot instead of the feeder.   I thought that was so clever.  Maybe I will try that sometime.

If anyone has suggestions on how to take hummingbirds, I’d love to hear.  In the meantime…here’s the little guy….or girl lol…





Author: lauramacky

Journey of a Body on this Earth

182 thoughts on “Hummingbird #1

  1. This is such a great shot of this delicate little beauty.

  2. Magnificent capture Laura 🙂

  3. Awesome photo 🙂 Very well done 🙂

  4. Wow.. The speed was so fast… I’m impressed..

  5. Great shot Laura. These little birds never hold still and pose like this for me. 🙂

  6. Wonderful shot. Flash is a learning curve, somewhat counter intuitive and hard to get natural. Worth doing and worth trying, I use it a lot.

  7. ta da, indeed! i remember the first time i managed non blurry shots- very gratifying. we get similar hummingbirds in my garden in arizona but the problem i get with the feeder is that it attracts wasps, which of course puts the birds off. i had fun this year using that slo-mo setting on my iphone6 🙂

    • LOL…wasp wars! And yikes! I’ve had these feeders before but not at this house, so I’ll make sure I watch out for them. The real challenge for me was trying to get a shot of the bird’s body sharp and the wings blurry. I took “a few” in order to capture the right one.

  8. Wonderful! And congrats! These are very interesting ideas, also. I don’t think wie have any humming birds here, though. So thanks for bringing them to me 😉

    • Thank you Melanie. Are you in Australia? Leanne was telling me there are no humminbirds there. We have a few varieties around here. I’m excited to capture the ones that have the red necks. I’m not sure if they are the males or what. You’d think I would know this lol.

      • Hey Laura, no, I’m in boring old Germany 😉 Hummingbirds settling in the Black Forest (not that I live there) would be news to me, but I’m ready to be proven wrong 😉 Nay, that’s fine. That’s a lot more than I ever knew about hummingbirds so you can say whatever you want and I will feel you’re an expert 😉

        • I’m from the boring old usa then! No country is boring really is it?? I only landed in the Frankfurt airport so I don’t know Germany. I’d like to some day though! I’m sure you have animals we don’t. It’s always fun visiting new places. Thank you Melanie. 🙂

  9. Given how quickly these birds move, I am entirely impressed with the sharpness of your photograph. I’ve loved seeing hummingbirds since moving to America. They are quite spectacular birds.

  10. I think YOU could give out the shooting tips!

  11. Just gorgeous! How in the world were you able to freeze time while you got that picture?! 🙂

    • Thank you! The trick was to get the body crisp and the wings a bit blurry to show motion. I think I could’ve even shown more motion in the wings but I’m happy with how it turned out. I used 1/800s, spot metering, f/5.6 and ISO 200. If I had a faster shutter, it wouldn’t have allowed me to show blur in the wings. I guess it’s a matter of preference, but I like the blur.

  12. Just wonder which button he/she has to press for what …. ? …. 😀

  13. I never thought I’d get a flash but now I have one. More of an impulse buy. I’ve learned quite a bit about portrait photography from the photography group I am in since most of them do portrait photography and talked my wife into letting me get a flash in order to try and get better shots of our kids plus the new baby once he’s here. I’m thinking it’ll be nice to have for some of my landscape shots though once I’m able to get out again.

    • A flash would probably be a must for a father! I don’t shoot portraits so the flash would be for “everything else”…whatever THAT is lol.

      • I have some ideas with using the flash. If I find myself in a situation where I’m shooting in a small space and the lighting is uneven or I don’t have my tripod then I can use the flash to provide light or even out the light. I think it’ll be very useful for my macro photography where I tend to not take a lot of shots due to lighting being poor and the subject moving too fast. I also think it’ll be very useful for creating more mood in my photos when in the field if I want dramatic shadows off the subject, especially during the middle of the day. I will also get a gel set in order to create different color casts to mimic certain parts of the day without needing to wait. It might also come in handy with creating my low key photos as well as creating a nice reflection off dew drops or rain drops when I’m able to photograph those. A lot of possibilities for the landscape photographer. 🙂

        • Thanks Justin. I just have never even thought of a flash. It’s a whole other world! Maybe some day in the future after I get some other things paid off lol.

          • Of course it wouldn’t work for those landscape shots where the objects are far away, but more for the relatively closer objects which I tend to photograph more anyways. I got the Nikon Speedlight SB-700 and it was $330. Cheaper than pretty much all pro glass for Nikon unless you go with the third party lenses. I really like it so far.

          • Yes I didn’t think I was going to flash a sunset lol. Thanks for the idea of the type. A friend of mine had mentioned that one too. Thanks Justin.

  14. Oh, Laura…how I LOVE this photo! I have never seen a hummingbird…and now I NEED to!!!! Thanks for this beauty. Hope you are well! ❤

  15. thanks for hanging out
    by the feeder
    and bringing the nice hummer to me 🙂

  16. Reblogged this on B.E.S.T. Arts Gallery and commented:

  17. Laura,
    Be patient and plant the plants that attract hummingbirds. Don’t be disappointed if this is the best photo you ever get of one. They’re hard to capture. I enjoyed it. I was just watching one in my quince yesterday and drinking from my fountain too. Good luck.

  18. We had a bird feeder at our home a while back, the hummingbirds would come to drink and one of them was so territorial about it! We named him Winston, he would sit on the tree near the feeder and if any other males would come to eat he would fight them off 🙂 He acquired quite a group of ladies!
    Beautiful capture! It is really like magic to get to a hummingbird frozen in time. Way to go!!

  19. Wonderful first pic. I always wait for the hummingbirds to return in the spring. They are so much fun to watch and photograph. I haven’t used a flash before but I’ve heard that it helps. Maybe I’ll try that this summer. I look forward to seeing more photos of your “hummers.”

  20. Nice! I sort of like the feeder in the picture. His little feet look ready to grab on. What’s the little guy going to think about being flashed?

  21. My mouth is collecting flies right now! LAURA!!!! What an exceptional shot! OMG! Totally you blew me away! This is one of the best hummers I have ever seen! In mid-flight yet. WOWOWOWOWOWOW! MAGNIFICENT job!!!! And I now can say …. I AM SO PROUD OF YOU! (((HUGS))) Amy

    • Yay!!! Thank you! I’m so glad you like it. The funny thing is I took only about 10 shots! I thought I would be taking hundreds. I took some and went to upload them before I took more just to see if I was on the right track. Lucky me! hehe Thank you again Amy…now go swat those flies! LOL

      • Really, Laura, I am amazed. I KNOW how fast these guys are. I attempted last summer to get one, but the background was too noisy. IF I move the feeder, the hummers will be upset. I must try to figure something out this year. You really inspired me again!!! LOL

  22. Beautiful and excellent capture! I think that it is safe to say for your first hummingbird shot – you nailed it! Not sure how a flash would make a difference – these little guys are fast! The hummingbird moth is also a fun to try and capture as they are just as fast!

    • The hummingbird moth? I don’t think I’ve seen one of those. Thank you for your positive comments about the shot. Maybe I just ought to move on and leave it at that LOL.

  23. Great job, Laura. Your image shows that flash is not necessarily required to get an excellent shot of a hummingbird. As I understand it, the key to a capture like yours is a fast shutter speed which you provided at 1/800th sec. If you use flash, things can get really complicated. The maximum sync speed of the shutter may not be fast enough to stop the action unless the flash is powerful enough to provide almost all of the light needed. And the flash has to be of short duration as well. Here is a link to a website of a fellow who specializes in this technique. But I prefer your approach.

  24. Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.

  25. Such a gorgeous photo for those of us anxiously waiting for spring.

  26. Great image Laura…….sadly we don’t get hummingbirds over here so these shots are especially interesting to me.

  27. Great job and beautiful picture!

  28. well, in my many and varied attempts to take hummer photos, I have to agree that fill flash works about best of all, stopping their one million wings beats per minute. sometimes you see things you didn’t know they were doing too 🙂

  29. Wow- that is awesome! Great shot- you really stopped his motion in mid air… 🙂

  30. That’s lovely! Hummingbirds are such amazing animals and hard to take pictures of. Really like this one.

  31. What a fantastic shot, Laura. You asked for other ideas to photograph them, but I want to know how you did this one. What were your settings? I’ve never attempted to take on such a feat, but would love to.

  32. I love it 😀 Now if only Wisley Gardens would do a Hummingbirds In The Glasshouse event after the Butterflies!!

  33. Brilliant shot. An award-winning shot, me thinks. Great clarity and you certainly captured the action – and the bird’s excitement at seeing red 🙂 Sugar water? You really should put more of that out, who doesn’t like sugar water 😀

  34. Awesome, Laura! Did you have to set your camera to rapid continuous mode so that you can pick the best shot? Or you just shoot a single frame each time?

    • Thanks so much Jeremy. :). I did have my camera on continuous. At first I didn’t and then I realized I needed to do that. I think it would be too hard for me to take just one frame considering how fast they are.

  35. Lovely shot, Laura! Nice amount of blur in the wing without losing the outline… 🙂

  36. Wait…I have to pick my jaw up off the floor.

  37. WOW. Stunning capture!!

  38. Such a nice shot Laura!

  39. Flighty little bugger. Very nice.

  40. Gorgeous, I like that you caught his tiny feet too. I usually have my camera set sometimes for continuous. A flash is a great idea. I did capture one last year on the deck that was not bad!

  41. I know this is really cheesy given Christmas’s tendency to make these colors nauseating, but I really love the coupling of green and red. You did well in capturing the little bird, and I like how he glistens so brightly.

  42. Beautiful reminder of what awaits in spring….delightful considering we have 3-foot snowdrifts on our deck right now.
    There are no hummers in Europe, Asia, or Africa. We are lucky to have just a few in North America; and there are lots of varieties in Central and South America. I researched them and did a little post here:

  43. P.S. This looks like a female hummer. The males have a red stripe on the neck, or red spots while they are still immature.

  44. That is an amazing picture ! Once in a lifetime shot !

  45. Without words… love this photo. This looks very professional to be honest. That is really one of the reasons why I want to dive into DSLR photography as well… not that a better camera would make me instantly a good photographer, but fast FPS or focusing to get the right shot, that will probably amaze me more than my digital camera 🙂

    I see often squirrels on the trees in our parks, I never got them on a photo because my digital camera is way too slow to capture the moment.

    I think your photo looks so good, it could also be on the front page of a nature magazine 🙂 Good job!

    • Wow, thank you Dennis! So kind of you to say. I’m constantly amazed too in what I can capture with this camera. I’ve heard things that it’s the photographer but without a fps camera, it would be impossible to get this shot. Well, for me it would lol. I appreciate your thoughtful comment and wonderful compliment!!

      • Yes, if you ask me, the saying “It’s about the photographer” is just partly true. Sure, if you have no idea what you are doing, photos will be bad even with a 2k dollar camera, while someone with a sense for pictures can get something out with a cheap digital camera. But as you say… it’s about the specs like the FPS and what not and I noticed it on my own, you will find limits that push you to a DSLR … birds are a great example where, macro photography not possible with cheap equipment either, and so on. You have both, an eye for beautiful things and a good camera and that is the perfect match as your photo shows 🙂

        As a guitarist there is this saying in the guitarist internet community that a good guitarist plays very well on a 100 dollar guitar. I play guitar since over 13 years and always get tears in my eyes when I read that in the internet guitar forums. 😀 There is a reason why some guitars cost 2k or even more. Played a lot of them and the material, the workmanship and features, it’s godly to play on an expansive guitar. I can play on cheap guitars but I don’t enjoy it and it will limit me heavily.

        I am now subscribed via instand email. I am too lazy to use the reader and prefer email updates. Now I can see your updates more often. Because I am curious about your next photos. 🙂 Also thanks for the good chat today 🙂

        • Thanks Dennis! I totally relate as I was a pianist for years and grew up playing a Steinway lol. Yes spoiled here! Have a great day yourself and I’m glad you enjoy my blog. Makes me happy! 😀

      • Cool Laura! I love piano sounds and listen to them on YouTube (at the moment fascinated by the Piano edition of the song Inception)! Haha, yes, piano is another great example where you can’t get quality for too less. Steinway wow! 😀

      • Don’t worry, I like to talk 🙂 At the moment I am totally into blues guitar but also really insane old guitar stuff like Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane and Creedence Clearwater Revival, Santana, Rolling Stones and quite a lot of other 60`s and 70`s stuff. I love bluesy tunes and old tunes. Biggest challenge is the Hendrix stuff because even if you learned a couple of songs, you must repeat to play it because the licks of his songs are extremely complex. Apart from that, he never played it the same way. I don’t want to copy it anyway, I have my own style, but learning all his licks does really improve my playing and develops my own way to play it. However, I do also play all kind of modern rock music and ballads. Recently I do also pretty much enjoy John Mayer songs. There is too much good stuff, but as musician you know that too. 🙂 I do also love to improvise and just have fun on my guitar and mix what I learned over the years.

        Related to piano. I played keyboard when I was very young but then I got a guitar. Today, I have this dream again to play keyboard or digital piano. It’s another thing on my wishlist and I really had to create priorities (DSLR at the moment). But after that I might get me one beginner digital piano. I found reviews about the M-Audio Keystation with 88-Key and that thing is cheap and not too bad in the reviews. At least for a piano beginner like me. But this thing has semi-weighted keys, so it’s probably not perfect to learn piano, it’s rather a keyboard I guess. I found others with full weighted keys, but they are of course more expansive. Anyway, it’s a plan after the DSLR so that I can research when the time has come.

        What is you music style on the piano? I guess you have a hard time to answer this too. So much awesome music to learn and play 😉

        • Ohhh I love Jefferson Airplane (I saw them a few times in my teens), Santana and all those you mentioned. How great that you have a passion in music. Do you have a link to your playing?

          As for me, my mom was a concert classical pianist so I grew up playing classical. I don’t play any more though because I have some nerve damage in my right hands and it got difficult to play so I took up photography four years ago and never looked back. I used to miss playing but I don’t anymore, I still love music though. 🙂

          Your English is really good! I don’t know any German and just a little french but only speaking. I can’t write it very well.

          Good chatting with you! Hope yo have a good….night right? I’ve been in Europe several times and I think you are 8 or 9 hours ahead of us here.

      • I never saw any of them live, I am way too young. I’m glad you could enjoy their music live. Awesome time with very innovative music, to the point that most modern music is still inspired by it. I know the Rolling Stones are still touring and sometimes they were in Hamburg too but I always missed it. I should take the next chance in case they have a concert there again. I am always too lazy to create music videos but I was planning to do this when I get my DSLR. I took videos with my camera but the video editing process annoyed me. I am more into picture editing. But at some point I might do this and upload something and you will then notice on my blog because I share things that I do.

        It’s sad that it is difficult for you now to play piano because the nerve problem in your hand. I had a carpal tunnel syndrome two times and couldn’t play guitar at that time for weeks and it was really annoying when you have that passion but problems with the hands. I’m glad this does only happen once in a year to me for a couple of weeks. I’m afraid that the problems could stay and contacted a doctor some time ago but he said it does not have to happen, I maybe did just overwork my hands. I am also glad that you found another passion with photography, but it’s still sad to hear that piano playing is now too difficutl due to your hand problems. I can imagine how you miss it, but it’s good to have another passion that works better for you.

        Haha, yes, it’s morning now in Germany and you were right, I went to bad after my last reply yesterday as it was sleeping time. Thanks for your compliments about my English, it’s always good to hear and motivating. I blog since 2011 and when I look back to my older posts, I sometimes have to laugh about my English. I guess I made improvements over time, it’s fun but you never learn out 🙂 Also, if you would stand near me, I am not sure if you would think the same, I guess I am good in writing but I have no experience in speaking the words and it would probably sound very strange 😀 But I can watch movies in English already, that means I would understand you, but you would have a hard time to understand my words 😛

        • I remember concerts were a big thing when I was young. There were these crazy things called “Day on the Green” at the Oakland Coliseum, omg…I’m surprised I’m alive after all that lol. I went to probably 85% of those concerts. Because the concerts were held on a baseball/football field, a few days later, pot plants would start popping up all over the place from all the seeds people dropped. Ah, those were the days! haha The 70’s were a great time!

          Please take care of your carpal tunnel. Take frequent breaks and stretch.

          I’m over feeling disappointed about the piano. It’s been since 2006 or so since I’ve played anything serious. I tinkled here and there in between but then I realized it would be better to just sell the piano. I’ve never regretted it. Onward and upward eh? 🙂

          You’re welcome about the compliments for your english. Once in awhile I detect the way you use the words but it is so minor. I’m impressed! You know, we Americans are terrible about second languages mostly because we are so huge and it’s all one language. I did take French for 6 years and was pretty good with it and used it when I went to Paris. But I am very rusty.

          Well, onto check my blog and the notifications and then get my day started! Nice chatting. 🙂

      • I looked this up on YouTube. OMG! That would have been my thing! Masses and music in a coliseum, that looks crazy! 😀 Yes I will take care, I still play guitar but much less. When I got carpal tunnel syndrom, that was a time when I had not much to do other than sitting at home and playing guitar for 6 hours, and that over weeks. Was not a good idea I think. I usually play one or two hours a day now and I didn’t get the problems anymore. There are also days when I play not, so that my hands can relax.

        Yes, I agree, I tend to say that English is the inofficial world language, it’s common and you can find people who speak English everywhere. My French is very basic and when I was in France, I had no problem at all to communicate with people, I just used English. They had French accent, I German accent, pretty funny. So, if I were you, I probably wouldn’t have seriously started to learn a second language either. About French again, I know what you mean, because my French is very rusty as well. This happens if you can’t practice frequently. I usually visit English or German websites, so, that won’t get rusty. But I really have trouble to read French articles, it’s difficult to get motivated a third time to improve a third language.

        Ok, have a nice day. Mine is over again in a few hours 🙂 Change of shift I’d say? Happy blogging 😀 And yes, enjoyed the chatting too. Thank you!

  46. Hi Laura, As you know I am a huge fan of your work and would love to reblog this if you are ok with it if not that’s ok too 🙂 ❤

  47. Reblogged this on forgottenmeadows and commented:
    I have been a HUUUUGE fan of Laura’s photography and it is my pleasure to share her blog with all of you 🙂 She captures the world beautifully through her lens…Go check her out!

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