Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird --- 

I spent a little time with the birds in our front yard this evening. In about 45 days the hummingbirds will head south, taking the long journey to the south of Mexico and beyond. It is not difficult to take the picture if the bird is perched on a branch. The story lies (at least for me) in the gestures that can be captured and using all the technical means that are at my disposal while shooting is essential.

All images: Nikon D750, Sigma 150-600mm / f5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens, tripod, Induro GHB2 gimbal head, Nikon SB 800 speed light, Better Beamer flash extender

I shoot in “sniper mode”, means one picture at a time, because I want to use flash fill to bring out the colors in the bird and still maintain the environmental aspect by not making the background totally black. Another way to make the click would be to utilize the high speed capabilities of the camera, the NIKON D750 can do 6.5 frames per second, but these days 12 fps is what the most sophisticated bodies can deliver. However, a higher speed and shorter exposure time would have rendered the background totally black with today’s ambient light. So where is the challenge? The pictures were made with the SIGMA APO 1.4x EX DG teleconverter attached to the SIGMA 150-600 mm Sports lens, giving it a total focal length of 850 mmm. I used 1/60 s for both images and this is of course not shot from your hip…😉