Tammie Simon  

Thirsty Hummer by Tammie Simon

May 2023 - Thirsty Hummer

May 2023 - Tammie Simon


About the Image(s)

I strategically placed my butterfly garden in a spot where I wouldn't have a distracting background so that I can sit under my back patio and shoot butterflies and hummingbirds. I sit patiently and wait for some action and sometimes get lucky with the hummingbird going exactly where I want it to go. This was one of those times. The only downside to my setup is that I have to crop so much (original raw, unedited is included). The shot was pretty much perfect, I only had to do minor camera raw adjustments. I used Topaz Gigapixel, but I really don't think that made a difference.
This was shot on 8/15/2022 with my Nikon z6ii and my Nikon 200-500 lens at 500mm. 5.6 1/6400 ISO 500. Bright morning sun and empty space behind it combined with the high shutter speed gave me the perfect black background.

This round’s discussion is now closed!
8 comments posted

Mike Cohen   Mike Cohen
Hi Tammie, welcome to the group. First of all, I envy your situation, having opportunities like this in your back yard. Bravo!

The image has a lot of immediate impact, with striking background and nice clean composition. The bird is tack sharp and in a wonderful position. I might select the plant, particularly the stems and leaves, and bring up the shadows a bit without adding any more contrast. That's a nit but I would at least compare that effect on your fine job.   Posted: 05/10/2023 19:26:27
Tammie Simon   Tammie Simon
Thank you- I will try that!   Posted: 05/17/2023 09:37:20

Judith Lesnaw   Judith Lesnaw
Welcome to 52 Tammie! Your image is stunning. I love the minimalist effect that the black background creates. As Mike pointed out the bird is tack sharp and has a nice catch light in his eye. There are several pleasing compositional elements. The diagonal lines formed by the bird's body and the plant stem together with the horizontal wing form a triangle. The diagonal bird leads the eye to the flower, and the flower points right back to the bird. Your patience really paid off.   Posted: 05/11/2023 12:03:25

Ann Brixey   Ann Brixey
Hi Tammy, Welcome, I too am a new member here, so am just feeling my way around. I have been watching three humming birds at my feeders, two in an aerial dog fight, and the third nipping in to feed.

Your image is stunning, the bird is tack sharp against the dark background. I read Mike's comments, and agree with him in selecting the plant and bringing the shadows up a bit. the light hits the leaves nicely.   Posted: 05/11/2023 14:16:10

Pamela Hoaglund   Pamela Hoaglund
Welcome to the group. Looking at your original I'm wondering if you used flash. Beautiful light on the hummer and catchlight in the eye. Everything is tack sharp from the hummer to the flowers she's feeding on. The orientation works well as does the composition. As Judith said the lines and triangles all work together to make this a winning image. My only suggestion would be to put a thin white stroke or frame around the image so the viewer can tell where the image borders are.   Posted: 05/12/2023 16:29:48
Tammie Simon   Tammie Simon
Thank you! No flash- just very bright morning sun.   Posted: 05/17/2023 09:39:44

Sharon Prislipsky   Sharon Prislipsky
We are kindred spirits, Tammie. I have been working on a butterfly and hummingbird garden for about four years now. I also love to sit for hours trying photograph them. I have not yet accomplished anything as nearly perfect as this image, so I am in awe. Your choice of shutter speed really stopped the action and made the hummer tack sharp. I think the composition works well - I am always trying to include soft diagonals as I think they make the image stronger. The black background allows the bird to really pop. Well done.   Posted: 05/16/2023 19:35:40
Tammie Simon   Tammie Simon
Thank you! I struggled for years because I would try to sit too close and had trouble focusing when they zoomed in to the flowers. I have much better luck when I'm sitting further away. I'm attaching a shot of my setup from the day this shot was taken. Excuse the messy patio and yard- August heat is brutal!   Posted: 05/17/2023 09:51:30
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