Flighty models
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Old 04-30-2012   #1
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Default Flighty models

OK, a bit of a pun.

This past weekend I attended a workshop with Arizona Highways. In southern Arizona, a little south of Tucson, we have a “sky island” that becomes a rest stop refueling place for migratory birds – especially hummingbirds. Spending three days working with these feathered models I discovered a lot of similarities with their human counterparts:

1. You often have to bribe them to show up. That’s what sugar water is for.
2. Even after you set everything up, you still worry that they will show up.
3. Drama! They fight with each other and then both go home.
4. Their mood is important to good photographic results. Putting them at ease means they’ll stick around longer. Get them angry and you won’t like the results.
5. They need their energy drink to get through the shoot and keep them happy. Get between them and the good stuff and they will let you know how irritated they are. Case in point, those beaks are rather sharp.
6. Their escorts can be a pain (see first photo).

I assumed I would be working with long lenses, fast shutter speeds and “hold the shutter down” bursts. Wrong!

The long lens part was correct, but you literally work in an outdoor studio complete with strobes, backgrounds, props, gobo's and scrims.

You typically setting up at the minimum focus distance for your lens (1.9 meters) and use the highest f-stop you can. Focus is manual – you set it to where you think they’re going to be based upon how you constructed the setup. Shutter is at max sync speed for your camera. Even at that point, your depth of field is between 2 and 3 inches. You have to figure out a way to coax the bird to where you want it to be. And those little guys are FAST!

1.


2.


3.


4.


5.

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Old 04-30-2012   #2
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Default Re: Flighty models

Great series , well taken
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Old 04-30-2012   #3
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Beautiful series. Sounds like an interesting set up. I would have guessed that a strobe would scare the little guys off! Well done!
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Old 04-30-2012   #4
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A stunning set. Incredible.
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Old 04-30-2012   #5
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Always a fan of your model work, Fred.. now your upping the game with some great Hummer shots!.. Great job! Im gonna have to say #4 is about dead on perfect
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Old 05-01-2012   #6
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Default Re: Flighty models

I agree with Bill on #4 but the rest are really great also. Well done
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Old 05-01-2012   #7
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Very pretty birds and well caught
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Old 05-02-2012   #8
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Default Re: Flighty models

Superb series


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