Lunchtime Photo

We have a a hummingbird buzzing around our yard right now, and I decided to try taking a picture of it using fill flash. The idea is to heavily underexpose the picture so that the ambient light produces almost no image. Instead, nearly all the light comes from the flash, which is very fast and can stop even rapid movement like a hummingbird’s wings.

So I went out Tuesday morning and staked out a position near our Salvia Amistad plant. By good fortune our hummingbird came by in less than a minute, and by further good fortune one of the pictures I took turned out pretty well. It shows our little guy just at the moment his beak is about to meet breakfast.

On a down note, you can see that the hummingbird’s wings weren’t stopped by the flash. Maybe it’s not as fast as I thought. Or maybe my exposure setting was wrong. I’ll try again some other day.

March 31, 2020 — Irvine, California

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

payment methods

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate