JakeKurdsjuk PRO+

Ruby-Throat at Dusk





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
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Peer Award
Absolute Masterpiece
KristinaOers Paul_Joslin jeanpierrerobbens englandjolley mattmorring terryacregan-leidigh bimm3d +89
Magnificent Capture
marysorberdye alisonbomber LoriJo dennischeeseman jamesjohnston_3471 Hawk243 DebsView +46
Top Choice
nathaliemedeiros JacqueAldridge Davide-Garzia BorjaBobby mcampi juditkabath andrewhazon +40
Superb Composition
mariadelcarmenllavayol tracybutler_1491 SandraMSantos jmatthewlarson Tanya333 tracyburroughsbrown KasaiNazo +29
Superior Skill
chuckmyer MERCEDESS candiscamera bclumberjack martinkiener Idaco BuckPhotography +9
All Star
Dacemac rigobertodelamora_8045 photographyhutt janicejh sandystevenskrassinger StevenPasternack robanaka +5
Outstanding Creativity
catherinethompson pushpendraarora IreneNo Hippiechic colthecrow ramachandrannair BobToronto +3
Seerseeing photographyinmae aylacroft misterscott biglenswildlife GREENFROGGY1 borishabinsky
coleenlindstrom LUsherLamacraft



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16 Comments | Report
LUsherLamacraft Premium
LUsherLamacraft September 05, 2017
darrellgillenwater Ultimate
darrellgillenwater September 07, 2017
very nice shot
JanevaPhotography September 07, 2017
Beautiful Shot!
nandicmb September 18, 2017
Congratulations on your Contest Finalist category win in Hummingbirds Photo Contest!
joshuabaker October 03, 2017
Great capture.
Alwolfe Platinum
Alwolfe October 03, 2017
Awesome capture!
JayneBug Platinum
JayneBug October 03, 2017
Superior skill. Great capture.
Pamelabole PRO
Pamelabole October 03, 2017
Wow....amazing capture!! Congrats on being a contest finalist!! : )
aboodabussaud October 04, 2017
Such a great shot!
mikedenis October 04, 2017
"LOVE" the detail and lighting!
PRL_NaturesMystique October 07, 2017
Super Capture!!! Congratulations.....
Julia_137 July 30, 2018
Great picture ! Come and check out a few of mine sometime 😃😄
Alwolfe Platinum
Alwolfe August 23, 2018
Beautiful capture!
Alfredo_Jose August 28, 2018
AvigayilPhotography September 10, 2018
I love the focus/blurriness of this photo!! And the colors are perfect. :) Lovely shot! Congrats!!
mariadelcarmenllavayol September 16, 2021
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Behind The Lens

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.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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!!
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.

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