Ecuador Birds with David Stimac

Ecuador – a country about the size of Colorado – boasts over 1600 species of birds, 130 of them hummingbirds! Join me for an intensive workshop focusing on the many colorful hummingbirds, tanagers and other birds of the cloud forests. HIGHLIGHTS:
We’ll be staying at three beautiful locations and visiting many more. From the cloud forests on the eastern slope of the Andes to the arctic-like paramo of the highlands, down to the lowlands of the west slope, we will cover many different habitats and see a dizzying array of birds. I’ve reserved some of the best accommodations and bird photography locations available, and we will have an expert local guide with us for the entire workshop. Along with the birds, we will also have great opportunities for landscape and macro photography. You’ll find all of this on a backdrop of fantastic mountain scenery, mysterious cloud forest landscapes and rushing mountain streams, plus stunning orchids, butterflies, moths, reptiles and amphibians.

WHAT’S INCLUDED:
11 nights lodging
All meals during the tour as described below
All ground transportation
Small group size – plenty of room for everyone
Extensive in-the-field instruction
Use of multi-flash equipment and accessories
Post-processing tips & image review sessions in the evenings
Local expert bird guiding
http://www.davidstimac.com/p/ecuador-workshop

NANPA Weekly Wow: Sept 19-26

Pholcid spider holding eggs in her jaws © William Tyler

Pholcid spider holding eggs in her jaws © William Tyler

Each week www.nanpa.org highlights 7 images from the top 100 submissions of the 2016 NANPA Showcase competition. This week’s images are by:

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Multi-flash Hummingbird Photography by Nate Chappell

A Sword-billed Hummingbird (left) and a Chestnut-breasted Coronet battle over a hummingbird feeder. © Nate Chappell

A Sword-billed Hummingbird (left) and a Chestnut-breasted Coronet battle over a hummingbird feeder. © Nate Chappell

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