Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Come fly with me

Do you ever have those days? You know, the ones where you just aren't quite quick enough on shutter to capture that bird or bug before it takes off and zooms out of focus or even field of view? The series below are some of my "near misses". Some are in focus, most are not, but each one is its own little mini-adventure. The one just below is a beetle that had been happily feeding on the daisy until I disturbed it with the sonic autofocus one too many times. A "Focus Too Far", so to speak.

The next picture almost worked, but I was basically unprepared. I was taking pictures of the various insects on the coneflowers, when up zoomed a ruby-throated hummingbird. I had no idea they would feed on coneflowers. I caught this shot seconds before the hummer spotted me. Usually I take time to focus, but this time I just aimed in the general direction and pressed the shutter button; classic off the hip shot. With hummers, you take what you can get.

Below is what the hummer looked like after it spotted me. It flew toward me with its throat patch displayed and then zoomed away into the trees. The autofocus found the brick wall, not the hummer. :-( But I love the shot anyway because it captures the essence of a male ruby-throated hummingbird -- hovering, displaying, speeding away.

The moth below was super-fast, frenetic really, and super-sensitive to the autofocus. I saw it for a split second at rest, and the wings are a dull medium grey with no significant markings that I could detect. But its body is a magnifecent metallic azure blue and its head is bright orange; all of which is hidden when the wings are closed.

I was trying to get these dark indigo blue wasps that were flitting around the garden pond. I took dozens of photos trying to capture the dark blue iridescence, but no matter what I tried, they just looked black. I was focusing on this one as it sat on the rock next to the pond and just I pressed the shutter button it took off. But look! You can see some of the gorgeous blue iridescence on the head and abdomen and on those long, extended back legs.

I will leave you with the image below of a honeybee that flitted from one aesclepias flower to another as I took the picture. I picked this one for last because it is at least in focus. ;-)


  1. Isn't it frustrating when that happens lol
    I've go lots like that, but it's all worthwhile when the good one comes along.
    I rather like the first hummingbird shot, and the moth.

  2. Some of my own favourite photos are blurred but, as you say, they capture the essence of the moment for me. Too much technical excellence in a photo detracts from the naturalness of a natural subject, I think.

  3. Keith - glad you like the hummer and moth and that I was able to communicate the reasons that I like them.

    Rob - thanks for the very kind words and for appreciating why I have a soft spot for these technically imperfect shots.


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