Donald Jedlovec Photography
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The Hummingbird Project - updated for my June 2013 Kernville Photo-shoot

The sky islands in southeastern Arizona are habitat for 12 of the 13 North American hummingbird species. Here the summer monsoons result in a desert bloom that has historically attracted these birds as they stop off along the fall migration routes. In recent times, man-made feeders at local inns, lodges, parks and other areas help to assure the birds’ survival in times of drought, allowing them to be present for us all to appreciate.

This is one of my favorite projects. It uses high-speed digital photography with extremely short flash durations to freeze the motion of these birds. This work offers a unique opportunity to appreciate the details of flight close-up. These images were taken with a system of strobes having a duration of 25 millionths of a second, assuring that all motion will be frozen in time.

These images are of actual hummingbirds feeding on actual flowers and are very difficult to achieve. The flowers and backgrounds are not ‘photoshopped’ in place. To capture these images requires knowledge of hummingbird behavior patterns, which revolve almost exclusively around nectar sources, and mostly, a lot of patience!  Please note that no hummingbirds were harmed in the shooting of these images. People often wonder if the flash harms or affects the birds. Multiple flashes fire simultaneously to provide the light required for these images, so if a bird were to look directly into a flash it would see only a fraction of the total amount of light. Indeed, many birds do not even flinch during the flash.



 

 
 

          Rufous Hummingbird (f) at Penstemon

Kernville, CA

 

 

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