Taking Hummingbird Closeups

[Update – I’ve added the two best shots of the day at the end of the post]

I’ve tried shooting closeups of hummingbirds before – some shots are http://deanrowe.net/HighRezHummers/. The method I used then was to point my 70D at the hummingbird feeder and use an intervalometer to take a shot every 15 seconds or so. It was hit and miss and time consuming to go though hundreds of misses.

Today I tried something different – I pointed the 70D at the feeder like before, but this time I used the 70D’s wifi to connect my old Android tablet running the EOS Remote app. Now I can sit inside the house and watch the feeder either through the window on on my tablet and take shots whenever I see a hummer at the feeder.

For the first try, it works pretty well! After a little tweaking of the focus and exposure, I got at several dozen shots of male Broad Tailed Hummingbirds. With the old method, I’d let the camera shoot for most of the day and then would be lucky if I go any.

Some specifics – the lens is a Canon 70-200L II 2.8 (with a 1.4 extender for the shot below). The exposures were on manual at f/6.3, 1/1500 sec at ISO 800. The 70D was set to burst mode so it would take multiple shots as long as I held down the exposure button on EOS Remote.

Here’s one of the first shots (cropped)



I’m pretty happy with that – especially for the first try. It was overcast and the feeder is always in the shade, so he doesn’t look as iridescent as he would in bright sunshine.

This is the camera setup:

My Canon 70D with 70-200 w/1.4 extender watching the feeder.

My Canon 70D with 70-200 w/1.4 extender watching the feeder.

Its only about 3 feet away from the feeder

This is the EOS Remote app on my tablet:

This is my old Adroid tablet running EOS Remote connected to my 70D

This is my old Adroid tablet running EOS Remote connected to my 70D

I’ll have to try hanging the feeder in the sun next time. That would let me use a higher f-stop and keep more of the hummer in focus.

[update – best two shots of the day]

For these, I took the extender off and shot at 200mm. That helped to keep more of the hummingbirds in focus.

hummingbird broadtail broadtailed

Male Broad Tail hummingbird

hummingbird broadtail broadtailed

Female Broad Tail hummingbird

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