Little Ditty About My Own Camera Fun - Capturing 200 Beats Per Second

The ruby-throated hummingbird is often seen on the East Coast of the US and holds the Guinness book of record for the fastest wing-beat of a bird at a startling 200 beats per second.  Most other hummingbirds come in around 90 beats per second...still impressive!  This is where a deliberate setting on the shutter speed is important in order to capture the image you want.  Would you like motion blur in the wings and the rest of the bird sharp or do you want to have the whole image including the wings sharp?  Neither is right or wrong, just a decision made by the artist.


I recently completed a 12 day backyard photography challenge. One picture per day under guidelines that encompassed different areas of photography and differing technical settings. My most challenging subject was our hummingbirds.  I found that our homemade sugar solution worked really well and the hummingbirds visit our feeder several times a day. This sent me thinking that I would really like to get some close photographs of the hummingbirds. This is how I did it!  


I have a fantastic light stand that is sturdy enough to hold my camera and big lens with a sun hat!  This coupled with the Nikon snap bridge app allowed me to be about 10 feet away from the action, but view it live!  The SnapBridge is a really cool tool, free for Nikon camera users, that you can link to the Wi-Fi from the Nikon Z6 and then control the settings on the camera from your iPad. Not all of the settings are controllable for example the zoom and the focal point have to be preset.  But essential controls like Aperture shutter speed white balance can all be controlled and of course, you can see the image that the camera sees right on the iPad.


It did take a bit of getting used to and there is a small delay between pressing the iPad shutter release and the actual camera shutter release working, but still works great!  Below is a list of all the details if you want to get the detail!!


Equipment

Cheetah stand - wonderful telescopic light stand that can elongate over 8 feet high.

Nikon Z6

70-200mm lens

Rip Curl sun hat (for the camera)

Hummingbird sugar feeder

iPad Pro

Nikon snapbridge

....eventually, Hummingbirds


Settings

ISO 1000

F8.0

1/400







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