Lazy Boy Photography

Author: David Huffman
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Did you ever get the desire to take a photograph but you just didn’t have the time or the inclination to drive a long ways to take it? Well, that happened to me just over this last weekend.

I have been studying, reading, and talking with friends about photographing hummingbirds for a long time. Arizona Highways Photo Workshops has a specific workshop on this, and it is terrific. I decided to try my hand at it on my own from the comfort of my living room.  That’s why I call this Lazy Boy Photography.  I have hummingbird feeders on my back patio and in my front yard as well. The hummingbirds tend to visit first thing in the morning, and again late afternoon.  I use Nikon equipment, and take advantage of their commander-slave strobe synchronization technology. I set up four strobes in total, one below, another above, and one each on the left and right side of the focus point. You can see this in the attached photograph. I used two different cameras, two different lenses, and three ways to trigger the shutter.
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One camera and lens combination was a Nikon D810 body with a Nikkor 70-200 mm F/4 lens.The other is a Nikon D7100 body with a Nikkor 24-120mm lens.  Overall, I prefer using the D810 for the better image quality and also because it has a larger buffer so I could shoot more photographs more quickly. I tried the Nikon wireless remote utility using an iPad and the remote adapter for that D7100, but the app is just too inconsistent for this use.  On the D810, I used a iUSBport Camera2 to trigger the system remotely with my iPad.  This works better, has a faster reaction time and you can make many camera adjustments from the app. The third way I triggered the set up was with a wired remote, but I soon tired of standing so close to the camera.  For settings, I used high speed flash synch, aperture f/22 for maximum depth of field, ISO 800, and flash distances of about 24 to 30 inches.  You’ll need to experiment.  We take advantage of the high effective shutter speeds of the flash to freeze the wings of these little beauties.

Photographing hummingbirds takes practice and patience. That’s why I decided, on my first attempt, to do it from the convenience of my living room. Over the course of about four hours I ended up getting three or four images that are usable.  This one is from a small part of the frame.  I encourage you to try new subjects and methods, and of course to learn from others, especially from Arizona Highways Photo Workshops, visit www.AHPW.org.

David is a Volunteer Trip Leader, Author and Instructor.  Visit him at www.HuffmanPhotoArt.com.

 

Portraits in Nature with Arizona Highways Photo Workshops in Eagar, AZ

Author: Ivan Martinez

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Early in August, I had the fortune to escape the Phoenix heat and go to the town of Eagar in Northern Arizona to help in a 4 day workshop conducted by nature photographer Bruce Taubert.  Living in Arizona, gives me the luxury of being able to find cooler areas that are just a half day driving from where I live .  The town of Eagar is a 4 hours drive from Phoenix and 40 degrees cooler in the summer.  The area is popular for wild life and outdoor activities. We were there to photograph hummingbirds.  The workshop was conducted at the Sipe Wild Life Area which  is at the foot of Escudilla Mountain.  Although it is few hundred miles from Phoenix, it seems you are in a completely different world.  The air was cool and crisp. We had few showers and lost of overcast days. It was a nice time to be away  from the sweltering summer heat of Phoenix.  The workshop participants had a good time and went home with hundreds of great images. Bruce did an outstanding job in setting up the photography stations and worked very closely which each one of the participants.  Rick Sprain and I assisted Bruce during the workshop. Being a Volunteer Trip Leader with Arizona Highways Photo Workshops have been a wonderful experience and it has granted me the opportunity to learn new photography techniques and visit amazing places in Arizona and the USA.  Here are few images fro the the workshop.

Ivan Martinez is a commercial photographer and a trip leader for Arizona Highways Photo Workshops.