I've been a little obsessed with watching the Anna's hummingbirds go about their day in my backyard this past year. We've recently had a lot of snow and cold weather here on Vancouver Island but these little guys manage to stick it out! Since the snow was supposed to melt by tomorrow, I decided I would try to capture a shot of a male with some snowflakes around him. It's really hard to get close enough without scaring them though so I made a makeshift blind out of a tent fly and it actually worked! I'd love to try perfecting this technique, especially if it snows again. I would start by making the blind more comfortable to sit in that's for sure! I have profound respect for photographers who have logged days, weeks, even months sitting stationary in a blind, muscles cramping in uncomfortable positions waiting for the perfect shot. It's difficult on so many levels but well worth the effort in the end!
A male Anna's hummingbird sits perched on the branch of a cedar tree. After closely watching this little guy's patterns early each morning, I noticed he tended to land in a few particular places. So, with the hopes of capturing an image of him in his natural setting, I carefully set up my camera with remote shooting and began to stare at the branch for the next 4 hours. Getting the timing and focus just right was extremely tough but after some narrowly missed attempts, it finally worked out! It took a lot of patience and planning to create this image but I'm really happy with it and have a newfound love for this beautiful bird. Click here to order a print of this image.
Canon 5D MK4 | 100mm 2.8L IS Macro lens | 1/400 sec | f/3.5 | ISO 1600.
An Anna's hummingbird pauses in flight early this frosty morning. Weighing about as much as a nickle, their wings beat from 40-50 times per second while their heart beats around 1,220 times per minute! Amazing little birds.
This is the first image I’ve captured using the new Canon 5D MKIV’s WiFi feature, which allows you to adjust settings, see live view, & shoot remotely from your phone. That let me stand inside the house and avoid disturbing the bird. Quite an awesome feature! It meant pre-focusing the image though and then hoping that the bird would pause for an instant in that razor-thin plane of focus. In the end, one shot worked! Exposure: 1/4000 sec, f/3.5, ISO 3200. Canon 100mm f2.8L macro lens.
Catching a nice sunset is always a good motivator for a last minute mountain hike. Here's tonight's view from the summit of Mt. Baldy overlooking Shawnigan Lake.
If you can brave the cold water, the west coast of Vancouver Island is home to some fantastic waves in winter. This past week I was happy to catch some action while heading out on a hiking trip. I used to photograph a lot of skateboarding back in the day so it was fun to try my hand at some surfing. It's beautiful blend of human and nature. I have fond childhood memories of standing on the shore and watching my Dad surf as well. The smell of the ocean mixed with campfire is so nostalgic for me around this time of year. Stoked to shoot some more again this season! Might like to find a longer lens than the 70-200mm as well.
This little hemlock tree at Fairy Lake near Port Renfrew is simply incredible. Growing out of a submerged log, its never had the resources to get much bigger than a few feet tall - even though it's known to be about 30-40 years old. It must also be one of the most photographed trees on Vancouver Island. No two photos are quite the same though as the surrounding scenery is always changing - fall vs. spring, morning vs. evening, drought vs. flood. Below are a couple images I captured this fall, one on a misty morning sunrise and the other just a week later after very heavy rains nearly submerged the tree. A few times a year the water level gets so high that the tree goes completely under water. How it survives that and the constant attention it receives, I'm not quite sure, but I'm always thankful for its zen-like presence amidst our busy and chaotic world.