Hummingbird Photos

We are so fortunate to have my nephew, Chris, as our family photographer. He takes all the photos at our get-togethers, but he also loves to take nature pictures. This weekend he took several photos of hummingbirds on his deck and I think they’re just beautiful. We were wondering whether these are rufous or anna’s hummingbirds. After looking at other hummingbird photos, they look like anna’s to me — someone please correct me if this is wrong. Since I am a basic point and shoot photographer, I asked Chris to explain how he managed to get these great shots.

These are probably rufous or anna’s hummingbirds, because those are the types we usually get around here. In the pictures you can see that there is a male, with the bright red head feathers, and a female who is less colorful. I shot these with my Pentax K20D slr using a telephoto zoom lens zoomed all the way out to 300mm. I was on the upstairs deck leaning against the railing trying to be as still as possible. The way to freeze motion is to use as high a shutter speed as possible, and most of these were shot at about 1/250th of a second. If you have more light you can get even faster shutter speeds. Another technique to freeze motion is to use a flash, but I didn’t want to do that because I thought it might scare them away, and I wouldn’t be able to take a rapid sequence of shots if I was waiting for the flash to recharge.

Male Anna’s Hummingbird
Chris Comer, 2009

Female Anna’s Hummingbird
Chris Comer, 2009

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