I’m getting excited about the upcoming spring migration because it means more hummingbirds passing through.

To get ready for hummingbird photo season, I have prepared a checklist. It’s somewhat exhaustive although I would never claim that you can think of EVERYTHING you might need to do to get ready, but these are the basics.

Since it’s almost time to photograph hummingbirds in the Pacific Northwest, I thought I’d show everyone a few of the tricks I use and how I do my setups.

The first step is to get hummers used to coming to your yard to feed. Three months ago, I set up two feeders near the spot where I plan to do my hummingbird photography. I want the birds to get used to the feeders, me and the general area where I will set up my background and flashes.

I know you all have heard me talking about Topaz stuff lately, and there’s a reason for it. The one good thing that has happened during the shelter in place order in my state for purposes of defeating COVID 19, I have actual spare time on my hands. And that means going over my old images and seeing if there’s anything I missed in my first culls or anything I liked, but didn’t think worked for some technical reason.

Well, here’s today’s shot and proof that there is a bright side to everything.

I photographed this bald eagle in the Cook Inlet of Alaska from a moving boat. The weather, and light were iffy. I was reacting to him swooping by and I slightly under-exposed him by about a third of a stop. (When photographing eagles I have to be careful to hold detail on the white feathers, which is difficult given the broad dynamic range between those feathers and the black feathers on the same bird.)

If you need super fast frame rates, modern cameras from companies like Olympus can shoot at up to 60 frames per second in electronic shutter mode, so in that case, electronic shutter is probably appropriate.

If you need to photograph super fast motion, like airplanes flying by or animals or birds on the move, then you may want to stick with mechanical shutter. Electronic shutter doesn’t always work well with moving objects because of a concept called “rolling shutter.”

With all of us having some spare time on our hands thanks to the Coronavirus, now’s a great time to do some of the busywork that always seems to fall through the cracks when we’re operating at normal speed.

One place where I am terribly deficient and terribly lazy is paying attention to things like SEO on my website and more specifically, taking the necessary steps to make sure my images are discoverable by search engines like Google.