The best show on earth can be right in your back yard!!
Hummingbird watching and photographing hummingbirds has to be one of the most entertaining yet challenging hobbies. With a little planning and patience you will be able to take pictures just like the ones below.
First lets think like a hummingbird. Hummingbirds love to eat and perch. With that in mind we need to plant flowers high in nectar, hang hummingbird feeders and place broken tree limbs near the feeders. When planting my hummingbird area I group several of the same type of flowers together to make the flowers stand out. Not only does this make for a pretty area but it will keep the flying jewel in one area for a longer amount of time.
Thinking as a photographer. I like to photograph hummingbirds sipping from flowers rather than from a feeder. I prefer flowers that are smaller than the hummingbirds. When arranging my flowers I try to keep the taller flowers to the back of my flower beds. I position them this way to create a beautiful blurry color (aka bokeh) in the background of my images.
When setting up your garden try to position the sun to your back. This will allow you to capture much greater detail in birds feathers. If your birds are going to the feeder more than the flowers. Try picking a flower leaving enough of the stem and place it in the port hole of your feeder. You can also cover the port holes in the back to force the birds to the ports you are wanting the birds to go to. Some of the best flowers to photograph hummingbirds at are Honeysuckle, various Salvia’s, Penstemon, and Cuphea. A great late bloomer is Pineapple Sage.
The camera settings that work for me.: (Mind you this is on a very sunny day)’ Set your camera on shutter priority. Your ISO at 400 and your shutter at 1/1000 of a second. In shutter priority your camera sets your aperture. If your images are to dark try raising your ISO to 800.
After migration in October I look forward to creating my yearly Shutterfly Hummingbird book. It’s always fun to select my favorite shots for my yearly book. I digi scrap each page sizing the page according to Shutterfly’s specs. I then upload my completed full page as a jpeg. The new feature Shutterfly has that allows you to make your page a two-page spread is such a time saver! One click and you are ready to move to the next page.
Making my yearly hummingbird book is a great way to document my hard but beautiful work its also a fantastic way to get my images off the computer and put them in print. For more hummingbird photos you are welcome to visit my Shutterfly Share site. I would love to hear from you.
Now that you have a beautiful garden, hummingbirds, and a ton of stunning images it’s time to create memories using Shutterfly’s photo books to document the best show on earth.