All my photos are taken in my small backyard; so it's hummingbirds or bugs. Now that my wife is well, I'm looking to expand my horizons. This is an immature male Allen's hummingbird surprised by the strobes!
I just bought a Canon, now I have to go get some lights for that! I'll still use my Nikons, but I'll be switching over to a lighting system for Canon. I think you'll enjoy photographing them with the multiple lighting. After you set up the lights, leave them for at least 20 minutes so they can 'inspect' them. I had my wife sit next to a feeder Monday and she was caught up in the feather ball and fighting!
Yikes!!! We're looking into umbrellas now - are you using a black/silver reflective umbrella or a soft diffuser, or.... ? Small soft boxes look pretty cool too... a lot of info to sort through! We're thinking pick up a couple 33" black/silver ones for now... maybe...
I like the umbrellas. Presently I have two and need at least one more plus a bounce card or two. Umbrellas are usually dual purpose; they have the silver backing with the soft white front. The silver backing is detachable and, for harsh light, the white is the same. I prefer the strobe shooting through the opaque white. Other strobes are presently used with simple polypropylene diffuser covers that come with most strobes. I find a single strobe used in manual mode equipped with a PP diffuser stuffed with two kleenex to supply enough diffusion for quick shots and the iridescence can be corrected in PS and/or lightroom. I can send a procedure for either if you wish(most people know PS better than I).
Usually, by this time of year, I'm down to ~7 birds. This year that number is up to ~25-30; taking care of their feeders has become an almost full time job. Watching the daily air combat is very entertaining, especially at dusk when they all show up to feed! Thanks!
I'm glad your wife is well, Walt I wish you both good health for all the rest of your days. As a photographer, you've made the best of your situation and gotten so many really stunning hummingbird shots (I'm less enthusiastic about the bugs but I do appreciate the effort you put into taking those shots ) I'm looking forward to seeing where you point your talented cameras and lenses from here
My secret is I'm a technical person; I don't have an artistic bone in my body! Hummingbirds and bugs represent a technical challenge. I used to do normal portrait photography and made a bit of money way back when, but it was boring, besides, chemistry paid more. Thanks, John!