f7.1; 1/2000 sec; ISO 800; 250mm
“With Brave Wings She Flies”…..I never get tired of photographing hummingbirds. Each comes with its own personality. Some are very shy and hide behind the feeder hoping you won’t see them while others seem to pose for the camera. The other day, I was approaching the house. I heard the buzzing of the wings and chirping sound of the hummingbird. You can’t really hear their chirp unless you are really close. To my surprise this hummingbird (who is a frequent guest at our feeder) hovered about two feet in front of me, eye level, staring at me for at least 20 seconds before taking off. It was such a thrill to learn it was not afraid of me.
After taking a hiatus from photo shoots to learn and get comfortable with a new camera and lenses, I decided to take a new approach to my flower photography. My process has always been to find an interesting flower against a relatively good background and shoot it with a variety of lenses; wide, telephoto, macro, Lensbaby. My thinking is, a beautiful flower speaks for itself. Not too much thought or creativity goes into this process. Consequently, many of my flower photographs look like many of the photographs taken by everybody else.
For Easter someone brought me a Lily plant. Given spring is still fleeting here in Chicagoland (might snow this weekend), I decided to place the plant on a patio table and see what I could come up with creatively. Not too many ways to shoot a single lily. I kept focusing on what is the most interesting thing about this lily. This is what I came up with.
The photograph taken above was not cropped. The subject was shot as is. So this year, I’ve decided to challenge myself to step out of my comfort zone and photograph only a portion of every flower I shoot. I believe it is going to be “easier said than done”! But if nothing else, I am hoping to learn a lot, and it will definitely be interesting!!
The photo below was taken a few years ago.
f/2.8; 1/100 sec; ISO-1250; 60mm – Sony a6000 and Canon 60mm macro lens.
Recently, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and purchased a Sony mirrorless camera. You could label me as “brand loyal” when it comes to Canon cameras. I know how they work, am very comfortable with settings, menus, etc. My motivation – we do a lot of traveling and am tired of lugging heavy camera equipment.
To my surprise, the Sony menu is not very user friendly, and the learning curve for me was very time consuming. But, I must say it takes an incredibly sharp photograph for the price point.
The one component I didn’t research very well was the expense and availability of Sony lenses. Do your homework on lens availability before you buy! The next best option for me was to find a lens mount adapter to allow me to use some of my Canon lenses with a Sony camera. Although the adapter doesn’t work with all of my Canon lenses, it works with the ones I use most often. It arrived today and given it was 7 degrees outside, I decided to do a quick shoot in my kitchen using the Sony camera with a Canon 60mm macro lens.
I was testing a camera lens for distance. So I decided to shoot this bird that was perched on a branch near the top of the tree. When I got home to view the shots I took that day, it was an unexpected surprise to see the dragonfly on the tip of the top tree branch.
f/14; ISO 400; 1/1600; 250mm
All of my photo processing is done using a combination of Lightroom and Photoshop Elements. I also use the NIK Collection which is a plugin that can be used in both programs.
f/9; 1/15; ISO-100; 135mm; +0.3 steps
f/8; 1/6; ISO-400; 60mm
f/4.5; 1/80; ISO 400; 60mm
Comments are always welcome.