JakeKurdsjuk Platinum
JakeKurdsjuk

Ruby-Throat at Dusk



Views

2438

Likes

Awards

Contest Finalist in Just Hummingbirds Photo Contest
Peer Choice Award
Contest Finalist in Image Of The Month Photo Contest Vol 25
Contest Finalist in Hummingbirds Photo Contest
  View more
Peer Award
Absolute Masterpiece
KristinaOers Paul_Joslin jeanpierrerobbens englandjolley mattmorring terryacregan-leidigh bimm3d +89
Magnificent Capture
alisonbomber LoriJo dennischeeseman jamesjohnston_3471 Hawk243 DebsView nancyawall +45
Top Choice
JacqueAldridge Davide-Garzia BorjaBobby mcampi juditkabath andrewhazon Mel001 +39
Superb Composition
SandraMSantos jmatthewlarson Tanya333 tracyburroughsbrown KasaiNazo agnecha dumbdrum +27
Superior Skill
MERCEDESS candiscamera bclumberjack martinkiener Idaco DavidMBuckwalter Basciano_Photography +8
All Star
rigobertodelamora_8045 photographyhutt janicejh sandystevenskrassinger StevenPasternack robanaka anreuys +4
Outstanding Creativity
pushpendraarora IreneNo Hippiechic colthecrow ramachandrannair BobToronto nadezhda_gribanova +2
Virtuoso
Seerseeing photographyinmae aylacroft misterscott biglenswildlife GREENFROGGY1 borishabinsky
Genius
coleenlindstrom LUsherLamacraft

Emotions

Happy
thatunicorngal PRACTICEBEETLELTD

Top ClassTM

Unique Sceneries Photo ContestTop 10 class
Unique Sceneries Photo ContestTop 10 class week 2
Unique Sceneries Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
Just Hummingbirds Photo ContestTop 10 class
Just Hummingbirds Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
The Animal Eye Photo Contest vol1Top 10 class
The Animal Eye Photo Contest vol1Top 10 class week 1
ViewBug Photography AwardsTop 10 class
ViewBug Photography AwardsTop 10 class week 1
Celebrating Nature Photo Contest Vol 3Top 10 class
Celebrating Nature Photo Contest Vol 3Top 10 class week 2
Celebrating Nature Photo Contest Vol 3Top 10 class week 1
My Best Shot Photo Contest Vol 3Top 10 class
My Best Shot Photo Contest Vol 3Top 10 class week 2
My Best Shot Photo Contest Vol 3Top 10 class week 1
Image Of The Month Photo Contest Vol 25Top 10 class
Image Of The Month Photo Contest Vol 25Top 10 class week 2
Social Exposure Photo Contest Vol 10Top 10 class
Image Of The Month Photo Contest Vol 25Top 10 class week 1
Social Exposure Photo Contest Vol 10Top 10 class week 1
Hummingbirds Photo ContestTop 10 class
15 Comments | Report
LUsherLamacraft Premium
 
LUsherLamacraft September 05, 2017
Wow!!!
darrellgillenwater PRO+
 
darrellgillenwater September 07, 2017
very nice shot
JanevaPhotography
 
JanevaPhotography September 07, 2017
Beautiful Shot!
nandicmb PRO
 
nandicmb September 18, 2017
Congratulations on your Contest Finalist category win in Hummingbirds Photo Contest!
joshuabaker
 
joshuabaker October 03, 2017
Great capture.
Alwolfe Premium
 
Alwolfe October 03, 2017
Awesome capture!
JayneBug PRO+
 
JayneBug October 03, 2017
Superior skill. Great capture.
Pamelabole PRO
 
Pamelabole October 03, 2017
Wow....amazing capture!! Congrats on being a contest finalist!! : )
aboodabussaud
 
aboodabussaud October 04, 2017
Such a great shot!
mikedenis
 
mikedenis October 04, 2017
"LOVE" the detail and lighting!
PRL_NaturesMystique PRO
 
PRL_NaturesMystique October 07, 2017
Super Capture!!! Congratulations.....
Julia_137
 
Julia_137 July 30, 2018
Great picture ! Come and check out a few of mine sometime 😃😄
Alwolfe Premium
 
Alwolfe August 23, 2018
Beautiful capture!
Alfredo_Jose PRO
 
Alfredo_Jose August 28, 2018
Stunning!
AvigayilPhotography
 
AvigayilPhotography September 10, 2018
I love the focus/blurriness of this photo!! And the colors are perfect. :) Lovely shot! Congrats!!

Behind The Lens

Location
I have a home office, and when the day is done I retire to the deck for my Happy Hour(s). When I do my camera is in tow. I've lived in this spot for 25 years now, and in that time we've made it our 1/2 acre a haven for local wildlife, and birds in particular. If there's a photo of a bird that I've shared there's a 95% chance that it was taken from within a 15 foot radius of my back door, which is why I decided on Backdoor Arts as the name for my photography. It was early in bird migration so I was prepared to shoot birds in the trees, so as I sat in my seat I was surprised by this male Ruby-throated Hummingbird hovering near one of our feeders (God bless my wife for watching the migration reports). When I grabbed the shot from 7 feet away I was thrilled as I chimped at a full-frame of hummer in amazing detail, including a sharp reflection of my home and the sky above it in its eye. My philosophy is, if you have to go in to get your camera then you're not serious about your photography, so here I simply raised the camera and shot what was in front of me.
Time
As implied above, this shot was taken in the early evening, about 30 minutes before "golden hour" set in. Nature has its feeding schedule, but with hummers you know they'll come at all times of the day. The main thing is to, a) be prepared to shoot them, and b) shoot them often because new birds will react to the sound of the shutter.
Lighting
I shoot 99% of my stuff in natural light. This feeder comes in and out of the shadows, so I was thankful to have the hummer in full light.
Equipment
I shoot handheld almost exclusively, and since getting my Nikon D500 a 300mm F4E PF has practically lived on it. This lens is small, light, focuses quickly, and allows me to swing, pan, and aim at will with the same facility as a much smaller and short lens. In this case I had a 1.4x TCii attached which worried me until I saw the results. I have a Sigma 150-600mm Sport that has lived in a drawer since getting this lens. Amazingly sharp, even with the TC. When you read that prime lenses will ALWAYS be sharper believe it. It's not a myth - even if I used to believe that the difference was "negligible".
Inspiration
I love nature, but not as much as my wife. So in the afternoon we sit on the deck, unwinding from the day and just being together. Watching our yard serve as a haven to critters of every kind is something we're passionate about (what some folks spend in dog food I spend in bird seed). I can't just do the binoculars thing, so she serves as my spotter and I document the goings on. I shoot a TON of hummer photos, but in the 6 years I've been shooting DSLR this one is a leg up from everything else. Had I had a zoom I might have caught something different, if I could have caught it at all with the length and heft of my big zoom lenses. But with a prime this is all I could get, and I am so thankful. I have a running story with anyone who will listen that hummingbirds used to be dragons until a wizard cursed them, so now instead of being the largest flying creature in the sky they are now the smallest, with their armor plates now layered as feathers - and that's what I see here in all its glory.
Editing
I try not to overdo anything in post, but I've found that Topaz Glow's "Fur and Feathers" presets can add great detail to shots when used conservatively, and that's what I did here. I also used a Color Mixer layer in Photoshop where I boosted the yellows in the highlights to better reflect the near-golden-hour look that was there when I shot this. The rest is just the camera and lens at the right spot in the right time.
In my camera bag
Bag? When you do 90% of your shooting within 15 feet of your back door who needs a stinkin' bag?! Seriously, though, when I go out I generally have either the 300mm mentioned or a 70-200mm f4 on my D500 and a 24-120mm f4 on my D750 (don't leave home without 2 bodies!!). In the bag is a Fisheye (or two), an ultrawide zoom (16-35mm f4), a macro (Sigma 105mm), and some fast primes (28, 50, 85mm f1.8), and don't forget the spare batteries!!
Feedback
For this, you need both patience and preparedness. Like my motto says, if you have to go in to get your camera then you're not serious about your photography. Don't skimp on the glass, and while I'm not an advocate of "spraying and praying" the practice has served me well. Frames per second is your friend with wildlife, because (in this case) even 1/11 of a second can make the difference between a print for yourself and a shot like this.

See more amazing photos, follow JakeKurdsjuk