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Sari ONeal

The Hummer Thread Vol.2!!!

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3 hours ago, Wendy Townrow said:

lol Deb, I am not WW2 vintage either but we used to sing that on coach trips as well ... it got some severe reprimands from the church group leaders lol!

And we are on different sides of the world 😊

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I guess I missed that one by about five and a half hours...LOL

Wasn't anywhere near a PC then. Oh well.

 

I tried to shoot the Perseids two nights in a row; the first night it got really hazy and even the brightest stars weren't visible. No clouds, just haze, and just on a very small area - on top of us.

The second night was fine to start with, and it was supposed to be clear for most of the night. Then, out of nowhere, thunderstorms showed up, clouds covered the sky, and I caught exactly ONE shooting star, and it was a very faint one, so - useless. Yay. LOL. It thundered all night after that, till morning light - we didn't get any rain, just clouds on top os us, so NO good came out of that one. Sheeesh.

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Sheila, I caught some of that webinar. But it was about 4.00am here when it was streamed lol.

Sari, a few years ago, I did a time lapse of stars here on Kangaroo Island and there were so many shooting stars. About 5 - 6 of them captured during the TL. Hard to say if that's normal or not. 

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Patrick - I'm sure there can be lots of activity when you hit a  good meteor shower, like 50-100 per hour.

I typically have the worst luck and look the wrong way (or point my camera the wrong way) and miss all of them, LOL. One year i was out just watching with my husband, and in the time he spotted five, I had spotted zero. Last night I saw a long one, it wasn't very bright, but I doubt my GoPro caught it, I haven't gone through the timelapse yet.

Of course we got clouds again. Seems to fit the pattern, LOL :P

I've been out on three nights and I haven't seen a single bright one that you sometimes see.

 

https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/1322169/Perseids-meteor-shower-2020-esa-how-to-see-video-shooting-stars

 

Also, there are so many airplanes and satellites that might look like shooting stars in a pic, but at closer inspection it's actually not one.

 

 

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Sari, a meteor shower would be amazing. 50 - 100 per hour = surreal.

If I recall correctly, I observed the shooting stars in real time when I was watching the night sky so they likely would have been the real deal. Though when you watch the time lapse, you would probably only notice one (the most prominent one.) The rest of the shooting stars are less obvious but noticeable when you examine the individual frames.

 

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I think you guys can watch the replay on the same link if you want to. I haven't checked yet to see if it's up and available. They had a drawing for how to set up studio lights and I've been totally doing it all wrong. I found some LED shop lights that are almost 5200 kelvin so pretty close to daylight and I'm going to try those for really lighting up the studio work area (once it cools down, the upstairs is a furnace right now with the little heat wave we are having this week) but the lights at home depot were only $17 each so a really good deal. I picked up 5 of them plus two battery operated hand held ones in case i need something closer and those will double as emergency lights when we go on road trips.

 

we normally don't have clear enough skies and with the light pollution, no star gazing here.

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Steve, well done for spotting the smaller shooting stars. I admit they are hard to see. If I recall correctly, I think I was shooting for about 2 hours or close to that. Number of frames may have been close to 200. It was actually quite an endurance test staying out there for so long. It was quite cold. I should have worn warmer clothes. But at the same time, it was quite peaceful being far away from civilisation. It was quite close to the beach too. And I could hear the sounds of penguins calling out....a sound that used to be common around the local town of Penneshaw but rarely heard these days. 

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Patrick - I don't know what your actual playback rate was on those frames, but at 24 fps x 11 secs there would be 264 frames ;)

So you shoot the Milky Way in winter? I mean, your winter is now, so I guess that makes sense. I like the mountain / hill on the bottom of your frame, but I find it interesting how the Milky Way rotates, as out here it goes across the view.

I was just watching some tutorials yesterday to be able to edit Milky Way shots better (my knowledge of LR is pitiful), and I'm going to have some reworking to do on some that I've done before.

 

BTW, one of the rules of thumb about being able to tell the difference between a shooting star and a satellite or airplane is that if the same one shows up in more than one frame, it's not a shooting star, because they only last far less than what your shutter would be open, and thus would not last visible for more than one frame. Also, shooting stars typically have some color - green for most part - in them. Satellites appear just white, and they can have a fade on both ends while being brighter somewhere in the middle parts, due to them reflecting light from sun back to the camera at a varying angle. Airplanes, of course, have the visible strobe lights on both sides of the flight path, and often the green and red dots can be seen on closer inspection of the frame.

 

 

Sheila - I may have to look it up, once I find a while to watch. The shop lights might be perfect for a little project I've been thinking of, but haven't been able to do yet due to not having proper lighting for it. That would require a trip to the big town for the lights, however.

 

 

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Talking of 'Hummers' (this is the Hummer thread right?), my better half put up a Hummingbird feeder which has proved to be quite popular with the little guys-n-gals. Grabbed this shot and giving some thought to how I can get better ones:

45HRXr.jpg

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Sari yea it's been awhile since I shot that sequence. I knew I had shot less than 300 frames! Yea easy to work out how many there would be.

I'm trying to remember what time of the year I shot this TL. I don't think I would have been brave enough to shoot it in winter! Would have been freezing out there if that was the case. It was a bit cold but not super cold. I have a feeling it may have been closer to summer (unless my memory is playing tricks on me.) Though I have heard that generally, winter is better for night photography (greater clarity in the skies.) And I guess camera sensors won't heat up as much during the long exposures which should reduce some noise. On the other hand, there would likely be more humidity in winter which could cause issues. 

Ah yes that hill in the bottom of the frame. Here in Penneshaw, there's actually not a lot of interesting shapes for foreground interest when the camera is pointing south to get that rotation effect of the stars and milkyway. That hill is pretty much the only feature Ive found that works artistically in that regard. Over on the farm (on another part of the island) there are some other hills that would look when you're facing south but unfortunately, there is an airport nearby. And often at night, you get a long beam of light from the airport sweeping across the sky in the south.

I'm pretty sure that a number of those 'shooting stars' were on single frames. Though I didn't know they were usually green. Actually, when I shot this, I had the WB on the daylight setting but I didn't like the look of the colours. They just didn't look right. The whole picture may have had an overall greenish appearance if I recall correctly. So I altered the WB in Lightroom. 

I'd like to shoot some star trails again some time. I would be shooting them on film again just like Ive done in the past. I prefer film for star trails as it's so much easier. Ive never done that sort of thing with digital but I know there's a lot of fooling around with software after you've taken lots and lots of shots with intervals - linking together star trails etc (not really for me.) Whereas I prefer just one single super long exposure on film. Dead easy and no digital noise to deal with. Plus I like doing this with old cameras with mechanical shutters so there's no battery to go flat. On the other hand, I prefer digital for star motion time lapse (as seen above.)

Charles, nice one with the hummingbird. I have never seen those birds in real life. I really wanted to when I visited Canada and the US but I wasn't lucky. 

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Hummingbirds are my favorite bird. We are starting to get them in our backyard more this year. I think because of all the gardening I've been doing. Hoping to catch some images of them once the pineapple sage starts blooming in a month or so. They should love that and i have three areas planted with those now. 

 

Sari, you could probably order online and have them shipped as well. These are the ones I picked up. they're small and compact, but they plug in so I don't have to worry about battery life (and having to constantly replace batteries). Plus they're inexpensive. I was going to get regular shop lights with 6500 kelvin bulbs but these shouldn't run as hot as those would. and having the little stand under them looks useful.

 

32595684_LEDClampLightImage.thumb.jpg.7a2914741966ce7978d45049aa012c7a.jpg

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2 hours ago, Charles Lewis said:

Talking of 'Hummers' (this is the Hummer thread right?), my better half put up a Hummingbird feeder which has proved to be quite popular with the little guys-n-gals. Grabbed this shot and giving some thought to how I can get better ones:

45HRXr.jpg

 

Charles,

you can just take you a lawn chair, close enough to the feeder to reach it well with whatever lens you're using, in best direction in relation to the sun, and go from there. Usually Hummers will come there if you just sit quietly. If they're more skittish, you can always put some kind of screen so they don't realize you're right there, like one of those small camo screens; just hang it up so it covers you  / is draping over you on front and back without restricting you.

 

We have 9 feeders out right now, and the most popular one has a constant flow of 6-8 birds on it at once, and it has 10+ in the evenings when they get ready for the night. We go through a gallon of sugar water per day. I notice that your nectar is colored red - it's better for them if you just make the sugar water straight from sugar and water, 1:4 ratio, because the pre-made ones have food coloring in them and that's not good for the birds, plus it's more expensive to buy, for no advantage whatsoever.

I haven't had a chance to shoot them yet this year... (LOL!!!), but yeah, we have dozens of them in the yard all the time.

 

 

Patrick - if I were you, I'd find a place with the sea on the foreground, or a mix of sea and land, whatever you can make interesting with. I'd love to go somewhere at a larger body of water (a decent size lake would do!) for a Milky Way or other star shoot, but it gets too tricky with all the animals I need to take care of.

 

Sheila - yeah, those should be pretty good. We do have regular shop lights, actually, two sets of them, that I could also try to use for my little project. It would be outdoors so the heat won't hurt. I know I can find the set with the stand, but not sure of the two other ones that don't have a stand. I guess I better go find them before ordering anything :P

 

 

 

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Sari yea for a long time, I was thinking the same thing - having the sea in the foreground with stars above. However, in Penneshaw, if you face the sea, you're facing north. So in other words, star trails would appear straight rather than curved. It would still give an interesting look and I will definitely try it some time. It would be cool to do the same thing on the opposite side of the island so that the camera faces south over the sea for the curved trails. Though it's rare when we go to the other side of the island or spend any decent amount of time there. 

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I might have to convince some family members to go on a trip together to the south side!

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1 hour ago, Sari ONeal said:

 

Charles,

you can just take you a lawn chair, close enough to the feeder to reach it well with whatever lens you're using, in best direction in relation to the sun, and go from there. Usually Hummers will come there if you just sit quietly. If they're more skittish, you can always put some kind of screen so they don't realize you're right there, like one of those small camo screens; just hang it up so it covers you  / is draping over you on front and back without restricting you.

 

We have 9 feeders out right now, and the most popular one has a constant flow of 6-8 birds on it at once, and it has 10+ in the evenings when they get ready for the night. We go through a gallon of sugar water per day. I notice that your nectar is colored red - it's better for them if you just make the sugar water straight from sugar and water, 1:4 ratio, because the pre-made ones have food coloring in them and that's not good for the birds, plus it's more expensive to buy, for no advantage whatsoever.

I haven't had a chance to shoot them yet this year... (LOL!!!), but yeah, we have dozens of them in the yard all the time.

 

 

Patrick - if I were you, I'd find a place with the sea on the foreground, or a mix of sea and land, whatever you can make interesting with. I'd love to go somewhere at a larger body of water (a decent size lake would do!) for a Milky Way or other star shoot, but it gets too tricky with all the animals I need to take care of.

 

Sheila - yeah, those should be pretty good. We do have regular shop lights, actually, two sets of them, that I could also try to use for my little project. It would be outdoors so the heat won't hurt. I know I can find the set with the stand, but not sure of the two other ones that don't have a stand. I guess I better go find them before ordering anything :P

 

 

 

Good tips.

I took that at 400mm, 1/1600sec, ISO 320 and f/5.6. Plenty of light in the Arizona sunshine although its very hot to be sitting out there waiting for them. I'd like to get better depth of field so getting much closer and using my 17-55 lens would be ideal. If I had a remote shutter release it would be perfect. Saw one at B&H for $80 with very good reviews but I'm not sure what else I would use it for. 

Will tell my better half about making our own mix.

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the hummingbirds "usually" get less skittish around people the more they see you and realize you aren't going to do anything to them. They are very quick in and out though so getting focus can be an issue when they're moving fast and one doesn't know what part of the garden they're going to go to. My video clips of the hummers, I usually just set up the camera for a specific area and hope they come to it. In the spring, they do more often than later in the year. The fledgling hummingbirds seem to be less afraid of my gear than the adults are. But where I was shooting hummingbirds in Southern California, there's so much foot traffic along the walkways that they're used to a lot of people passing by all the time anyway.

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Charles,  I like to have more DOF, so I normally use something like f/8, and adjust the rest accordingly. It doesn't hurt if the wings have blur, but if you don't want blur then you need to up your ISO to get the light for the faster shutter speed. It's just a game of testing what your camera and lens are capable of, and adjusting what you can to your own liking.

I know Nikons can be remotely controlled with your smart phone, I just have never tried it (yet). I have a remote shutter release that I probably paid something like $20 for, if even that.

Nowadays I also like shooting the Hummers on flowers more than at the feeder, because it's more natural, and a flower is always prettier than a feeder :D

It's just more challenging that way, because you never know where they're going to go, and my garden is so full of flowers they can feed off that you just have to pick one and wait... wait... and wait.....LOL

I have plenty of Hummer pics - many that I really like that never sell, and many that I don't much like but sell regularly. Go figure.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Sheila Fitzgerald said:

the hummingbirds "usually" get less skittish around people the more they see you and realize you aren't going to do anything to them. They are very quick in and out though so getting focus can be an issue when they're moving fast and one doesn't know what part of the garden they're going to go to. My video clips of the hummers, I usually just set up the camera for a specific area and hope they come to it. In the spring, they do more often than later in the year. The fledgling hummingbirds seem to be less afraid of my gear than the adults are. But where I was shooting hummingbirds in Southern California, there's so much foot traffic along the walkways that they're used to a lot of people passing by all the time anyway.

 

That's what I did, set the camera up on the tripod, got the focus set on the feeder and waited. When the bird came in range, shooting on continuous at 9 shots a second. Took 50 or so shots, kept 4.

Edit: Nikon have an article on how to set the iPhone for remote shutter release.

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Four out of fifty is not bad if they're great pics -  Hummers are so quick they can kinda flinch away super fast from just the shutter noise, and ruin the pic.

Yeah, I have some instructions in my manual, I just haven't really needed it yet. Also, I don't touch Apple products ;)

 

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7 hours ago, Charles Lewis said:

Talking of 'Hummers' (this is the Hummer thread right?), my better half put up a Hummingbird feeder which has proved to be quite popular with the little guys-n-gals. Grabbed this shot and giving some thought to how I can get better ones:

45HRXr.jpg

 

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