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Tony and Beth Maxey | profile | all galleries >> Tehama County, California >> Little Fliers tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Little Fliers

These photos are all experiments. I'm fascinated with the hummingbirds that live in our area and visit our feeder. I love the colors of the different species, their dimunitive size combined with pugnacious and aggressive behaviors, and most of all their incredible aerobatic flying ability.

From what I have observed, we have several species that visit our feeders. The two in these pictures are Rufous (Selasphorus rufus)hummingbirds, who are very assertive and territorial, and Anna's hummingbirds (Calypte anna) which seem to be a bit less territorial than the Rufous. Not shown in this set are Ruby-throated hummingbirds which also come here, and at least one other species I haven't been able to identify yet.

I'm trying to figure out how to photograph hummingbirds. My goal is to shoot artistic pictures rather than merely documenting the different species visiting our feeders. The art part is harder than it looks.

These pictures are definitely not art--with the possible exception of one titled 'Bon Appetit' where the bird was in a strikingly unique pose. Rather, they are the result of attempting at figuring out technically what must go into a 'good' (e.g impactful and professional looking) hummingbird picture. I already know the birds have to be in sharp focus, and to be most impactful, I think they need to be in action which is mostly flying. What other principles should I apply? I a long way to go so any comments or suggestions will be most welcome.

Rufous on Final Approach
Rufous on Final Approach
Rufous Flaring
Rufous Flaring
Rufous Touchdown
Rufous Touchdown
Hungry Little Bird
Hungry Little Bird
Bon Appetit
Bon Appetit
Company's Coming
Company's Coming
Help Yourself
Help Yourself
Who Are You
Who Are You
Cleared to Land
Cleared to Land
I'll Have What He's Having
I'll Have What He's Having
Anna's Hummingbird Landing
Anna's Hummingbird Landing
Anna's On Deck
Anna's On Deck