On this exciting Ecuador Bird Photography Tour you will do multi-flash hummingbird photography which produces stunning images of hummingbirds in flight at Guango Lodge, Tandayapa Bird Lodge and Sachatamia Lodge. We will also photograph a lot of other great birds including Cock-of-the-Rock, several species of Antpitta, numerous beautiful tanagers which come in to fruit feeders and many others. We visit the Antisana Volcano where we have a chance for rare species such as Andean Condor and Spectacled Bear. You will have 2 excellent leaders, Charles Gangas and Guilherme Battistuzzo. Trogon Photo Tours has a great deal of experience leading tours in Ecuador and helping our participants produce award-winning multi-flash images.
Images and Text by Nate Chappell
Photographing hummingbirds in flight in countries like Ecuador and Costa Rica with natural light or with just one flash can be very difficult. The reason – most of these birds live in the cloud forest where there isn’t much light due to both shade from trees and cloud cover. One solution for this, which creates beautiful flight shots, is a multi-flash hummingbird setup. By setting up several slave flashes set to 1/32 or 1/16 power around a hummingbird feeder or flower you can produce stunning images of hummingbirds in flight. The reason is that the flashes are actually synching at speeds of 1/8000 to 1/12,000 of a second changing the effective shutter speed from what is on your camera – let’s say 1/200 sec to the lightning fast speed of the flashes synching. The key to this is having the flashes produce all of the light, otherwise you will be mixing ambient light and flash lighting. In that case the 1/200 sec shutter speed will affect the image by causing blurring in parts of it. So you need to have your camera’s exposure set to at least -3 or -4 stops below the ambient lighting.Another helpful component is to have an artificial background – often a large printed photograph held a few yards behind the mutli-flash setup. Continue reading