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01 Ruby Topaz Hovering

'Hovering Jewels'

Mark Farrington LRPS

"Shortly before we were all locked away, my wife and I returned from a short holiday to the lovely, unspoiled Caribbean island of Tobago, 2/3rds of which is covered in protected rainforest.  One afternoon we visited a local naturalist and guide who specialised in hummingbirds. Tobago has 6 native hummingbird species, more than most other Caribbean islands because of its proximity to the South American mainland, and I photographed 5 of these.

Arrangements in the garden were ideal for photography, with steep slopes giving an attractive mix of direct and dappled light from behind the photographer, flowers, feeders and natural perches, and a smooth, distant background.  Gear was the Olympus E-M1ii plus 300mm f4.0 (600mm full-frame equivalent), which has fast acquisition of continuous autofocus and uncanny image stabilisation, allowing nimble, handheld targetting of these challenging avian subjects.

Aperture was f4.0 throughout and ISOs were 800 or 1600.  Post-processing was in Capture One Pro 20: these are 40-60% crops, with selective masking of the subject to correct tones and add a little structure and sharpening, and of the background to reduce brightness, clarity, noise and contrast."

Mark Farrington LRPS

 

01 Ruby Topaz Hovering 1600

Ruby topaz hovering

I was trying to achieve wing blur matching what one sees by eye, with a sharp head. This was the best, at 1/1000s.

03 White Necked Jacobin Jinking 1600

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

White-necked jacobin

Dodging other birds, nictitating membranes closed. 1/8000s.

02 Ruby Topaz Perched 1600

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ruby topaz perched

04 White Necked Jacobin Takeoff 1600

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

White-necked jacobin takeoff

Caught with the Olympus ProCapture setting, which uses high speed buffering to improve the photographer's reaction time. 1/6400s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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