Monday, April 28, 2008

When 300mm Just Isn't Enough

I'm very lucky to live in a house with a huge back-yard. Well, I say I'm lucky, but when I'm only halfway through mowing the lawn, and there's still an hour of work to go...Let's just say that I enjoy the yard when all the junk is taken care of.

Still, it's awfully fun to be able to shoot all the different birds that call our back-yard home. We have the obvious suburban bird life: crows, sparrows, chickadees. But we also have a few surprises. Woodpeckers are a huge neighborhood problem, but they are awfully fun to watch as they try to bang their way through aluminum siding. (Is that cruel?) Once a beautiful barn-owl came out of nowhere and buzzed my wife and my heads.

But the hardest bird to photograph are the teeny hummingbirds, just like the one in the picture here. It had been sitting on a the branch for a good five minutes, which, I gather, is about twenty years in hummingbird-time. I was able to get my camera set-up and my big 300mm lens on it. But the dang things are so tiny that even with that huge lens (and even with the 1.6x conversion factor my 40d provides) it was hard to get a good clean shot.

One of these days I'll get a real lens. Something about 600mm long. Maybe then I'll be able to to fill the frame with these little buggers. Until then, I'll keep snapping away. Who knows? Maybe one of them will land on my lens and I'll get a close-up of the underside of a hummingbird.

Now THAT would be a picture!

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