Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Hummingbird Challenge

This last Sunday I had the pleasure to participate in a fun hummingbird photography workshop in the Santa Cruz Mountains, held by my dear friends Judy Bingman and Meggi Raeder.

Inspired by a similar workshop that Judy and I attended, Judy had converted her already bird friendly garden into a hummingbird paradise.
Together with Meggi, these both accomplished photographers as well as avid birders, put together a knowledgeable and fun program for photographers interested in hummingbird photography.

With plenty of hummers around, and different setups to choose from, everybody filled their memory cards fast.

I approached the photography part rather nonchalantly, just enjoying the nice weather and the chatting with fellow photographers. After all hummingbirds are not on top of my "wildlife I want to photograph" list.

BUT after filling my memory card with a lot of super sharp and colorful....hummingbird feeders instead of hummingbirds, I got thinking....

I photographed polar bears, penguins, seals, wolves.....and now these tiny birds with their big attitude make me look like a rookie??

Well, if you consider that they are the smallest birds on earth measuring only between 2,5 to 8 inches, weigh in average only as much as an U.S. penny, beat their wings between 40 and 80 times per second, can reach a speed of 30 mph and are the only birds that truly can fly backwards and upside down, it's no wonder they are not an easy catch.

Always happy to conquer a photographic challenge, I gave it a more serious try. I hope you enjoy the results as much as I did photographing the hummingbirds.

If you are interested in attending one of Meggi's and Judy's workshops, please click here for more information. The next "Photo Workshop: Hummingbirds" is scheduled for July 10th and possibly another one later in fall.


  1. Susanne, wonderful images! The hummers should be honored to have such great portraits.

  2. AMAZING! And I have only a vague idea of what a photographic challenge it might be to catch those moments...