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.

So, I have decided to build out a corner of my home studio as a product studio so I can do both lay-flat and standard product shots. This will keep my photographic mind busy for a while and for that I am grateful.

The problem is, I don’t have much experience as a product photographer and prior to this month, no experience doing serious lay-flat work. I have been thinking back, and I can name all five times I was paid during my career to do product shots. They were mostly years ago before I specialized in birds, and none of them were remarkable.

If you are following me on social media, you know I have been experimenting with what I call “photo paintings” for a good while now. After almost five decades as a photographer, I never get tired of learning new things; coming up with new ideas (new to me anyway) and trying to find new ways to express myself through my lens.

The photo paintings are my latest attempt at all of the above.

Okay, it’s a new normal. The things we were all concerned about 90 days ago seem insignificant. COVID-19 is changing the landscape. But know this…one day, it will all be over and we’l resume worrying about petty things.

In the meantime, it’s a great chance to exercise your photography skills. Almost anyone who can read this post should be able to do most of these. If your circumstances limit you from doing a few of them, then do the ones you CAN do. I guarantee you that it will make you a better photographer and when things calm down, you’ll be glad you did these exercises.