Male juvenile Ruby-throated Hummingbird

It is just relaxing to sit at the edge of the porch in the evening and aim the lens at one of our numerous hummingbirds. Today we had a slight overcast with occasional appearance of the sun. To me ideal for hummingbird photography. This time the Micro softboxes were not used as a light modifier and instead the MAGMOD Magbeam flash extender on a flash bracket above the lens was employed. Click on the link “WHAT’S IN THE CAMERA BAG?” if you like to see how this setup works. A hint of flash is concentrated on the bird and the reflected light boosts the colors, even with a gray overcast. The tricky part is to dose the amount of flash and balance it with the ambient light, so it is not apparent that a flash light was used and the bird looks like a “Christmas tree”.

Some of the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds show more character in their behavior than others. This juvenile male doesn’t even have the ruby throat yet but acted like the “neighborhood bully” at one of our feeders. Hummingbirds are very territorial and obviously that starts at an early age. As photographers we can use that behavior to our advantage. The bird returns frequently to the same perch, in this case the stem of a maple leaf. From the perch they can observe what they believe is “their feeder” and start attacks against intruders, most likely their siblings and in-laws.

1/60 s, f/6.3, ISO 320, @600 mm, -1/3 EV, flash -3.3 EV,  with Nikon D750, Sigma 150-600mm / f5-6.3 DG OS HSM S, Induro GIT 404XL tripod, Induro GHB2 gimbal head, Nikon SB 800 speed light, MAGMOD MagBeam flash extender.