New- Hummingbirds c&c please

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by cynicalbeauty, Jun 25, 2010.

  1. cynicalbeauty

    cynicalbeauty TPF Noob!

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    So this is my second post here. The first happened 3 minutes ago in the introduction section.

    I got my tripod out for the first time yesterday. I am teaching myself to shoot in manual and wanted to get some hummingbird shots. It wasn't until I had to stop shooting that I realized that everything had been back lit and I had not used a flash. oops! The result however turned out neat, and I wanted your thoughts.

    What is the best way to fix this in the future. Would my built in flash be enough?

    1.

    [​IMG]

    2.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. benlonghair

    benlonghair TPF Noob!

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    First of all, manual is probably not the way to go when shooting hummingbirds. If you want to stop motion on their wings, you're gonna need a bright day and shutter priority. If you're shooting them perched, use aperture priority and shoot away.

    To stop the motion on the first one, you're going to need to halve your shutter speed, at least. Flash will help with this if you have access. Your popup flash might be enough, depending on how far away the subject is.

    I actually really like the second one. The shutter speed should have been higher, but the silhouette is still cool.
     
  3. cynicalbeauty

    cynicalbeauty TPF Noob!

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    Thanks! I will hope for some sunny weather and give this a try. The second is my favorite of the two. I got others where the wings are stopped. I will have to check what the shutter speed was for those. I didn't post them because I wasnt sure the number of pictures allowed.

    Thanks again!
     
  4. Boomn4x4

    Boomn4x4 TPF Noob!

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    Why not?

    In the case of these shots... there isn't a meter on this planet that would be able to property expose that shot... even if you were in spot metering, the odds of you getting the exposure to lock at exactly the right time would have been a long shot.... and if you are shooting in burst mode, which is almost necessary for a fast moving subject like a humming bird, the flash isn't going to be available.

    The only way to have gotten a good exposure on that would be to use manual mode, set your exposure using spot metering off a gray card (or back of your hand) and hold the shutter button down. Granted, you'd have a grossly over exposed sky in the background... but that isn't important.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2010
  5. cynicalbeauty

    cynicalbeauty TPF Noob!

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    Would spot metering off the back of my hand take care of the back lighting issue? I was thinking about shooting in the morning when the sun is on the other side of the house. Would that help at all?
     
  6. Boomn4x4

    Boomn4x4 TPF Noob!

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    Any way you look at it, that shot, with that particular angle is going to be tough to get exactly right... Super fast motion, with harsh lighting conditions isn't your friend. Ideally, doing exactly as you said, getting the sun at a different angle is the best thing you could hope for. So that you can shoot the bird with front lighting and a fairly uniformly lit background. In that case, you could easily switch to shutter priority, and get a good shot.

    My post was in reference to the exact shot you took where you took the shot up into the sky. If you were in shutter priority, matrix metering would result in an underexposed bird, similar to what you have. Center weighted may help a little... but that is a tiny bird... and there is a LOT of sky back there. You MIGHT be able to pull off a meter lock on spot metering if you caught the bird just right... but it would be a crap shoot. By utilizing full manual mode, you could hold your hand up in the same position the bird was in with the sky as a background, and using spot metering on your hand, figure out what combination of ISO, Aperture, and shutter speed (prioritizing sutter speed) would result in the best exposure. With a subject as dynamic as that, you want your exposure settings locked in before you start clicking the shutter button.
     
  7. benlonghair

    benlonghair TPF Noob!

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    Alright, I can't argue with that.
     
  8. cynicalbeauty

    cynicalbeauty TPF Noob!

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    Gotcha. That makes sense.

    I'll give it a try. I didn't even think of using another object to check the exposure. I checked it but I was just focused on empty sky. *headdesk* seems obvious now.
     

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