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

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight 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

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.