BASICS: "Hummingbirds.....where is the person, I ask, who, on observing this glittering fragment of the rainbow, would not pause, admire, and turn his mind with reverence..." (J. J. Audubon).
This is a blog about my summer life at the Baiting Hollow Hummingbird Sanctuary, at my winter garden, Calypso, in the Bahamas, and aspects of life in general.
This private sanctuary is now permanently closed to the general public, as a result of a lawsuit brought by a neighbor. Only my friends and personal guests may visit (

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Fredino in slo-mo with fast shutter speed.

Most of you will have seen that my slo-mo movies of hummers feeding and flying have shown blurred wings. I finally got round to using manual settings not just for focus but also for shutter speed. I should have done this long ago, because it seems to do the trick - the video I shot this afternoon is good, despite the gray weather. I'm using the maximum shutter speed the Vixia G20 camcorder allows - 1/2000 sec, or a half millisecond.This should be enough to almost freeze the wings throughout most of the motion, and indeed it seems to. I combine this with 2X overcranking and 2X further slowing via Youtube, resulting in a 4X slo mo. Amazingly, despite the low light today, the camera works well at this very fast shutter speed, though of course the aperture has to be expanded (at full 20X zoom plus the 2X digital teleconverter = 40 X zoom) all the way to F2.6.

Enough technicalities, here are some results, showing Fredino feeding at rosebud salvia (one of the very best hummingbird plants at the sanctuary, if not the best). I call this guy Fredino (son of Fred) because it appears to be a young male hummer, with a dark patch at the base of the throat (though not the classic juvenile male "drop of blood" single gorget feather. In any case it's a distinctive marking quite different from either Fred or Coral.

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