photography and digital scrapbooking

Portrait of a Hummingbird


He is a trusting young bird, so I am now able to set the camera 12 inches from the feeder. During one of his visits yesterday, he stopped moving for a moment (except for sticking out his tongue), allowing me to take a macro portrait.

I tested a relatively high ISO setting during this shoot to compensate for an overcast sky and shaded feeder. If you are a photographer and use Photoshop, you might be interested in how I edited this photo for noise. I usually reduce noise in Lightroom 3. But for this photo, I tested the ‘reduce noise’ feature in Photoshop CS5 and was happy with the result.

  • I duplicated the photo, then Filter>Noise>Reduce Noise. Basic panel: Strength 8, Preserve Details, 77%, Reduce Color Noise, 90%, Sharpen Details, 10%. In Advanced panel, I set the red and green channels to: Strength 4, Preserve Details: 60%. Blue channel: Strength 7, Preserve Details, 60%.

Canon 60D, ISO 1600, 100mm, f/4.0, 1/80.

Click on the photo to enlarge.
male juvenile hummingbird


Author: Karen Chandler

Metal clay jewelry, nature photography, and digital scrapbooking are Karen's passions. She is mostly self-taught, enjoying the learning process as much as producing her works of art. Karen's jewelry features fine silver, copper, and bronze. She sculpts and refines metal clay, then kiln fires her pieces and polishes them to perfection. The process allows for exciting interpretations of symbols, shapes, textures, and combinations of metals. A long time user of Photoshop, Karen loves to create digital layouts with her photos. Her layouts and albums are a diary of sorts; documenting milestones, recording happy times, and celebrating her love of nature.

15 thoughts on “Portrait of a Hummingbird

  1. Gorgeous detail on this photo! What a cooperative guest 🙂

  2. Beautiful photo! Thanks for the specifics on how you took the shot and edited it – it’s really magnificent! 🙂

  3. Yes, I enjoy learning about how other process their photos, so thank you for providing the details. I haven’t tried that feature in CS5 yet. There’s always more to learn! I love his expression. He seems to be posing for you!

  4. Wonderful. Such sweet little birds.

  5. This is so amazing. Thanks for the photoshop infor also.

  6. Wow! Such a gorgeous photo of this little one. Beautiful work, Karen, to be able to see the detail of the feathers on such a small creature is really something! You sure do know your way around Photoshop (I wish I did!).

    • Thanks, Cait! The feather detail in this one is the best I have captured so far. The weather was a little chilly, so I think he fluffed his feathers to warm up!

      Learning Photoshop can be daunting! I am five or six years down the road at this point, but still have so much to learn.

  7. Fascinating. Both the image and the technical details. Thank you, Karen.

    • Thank you, Linda! I’m glad you found my blog and hope you visit often! I usually include information about my camera settings and general information about the photography session or processing the photos.

  8. I once heard this nature fact about hummingbirds and elephants, but I have no idea if it is one hundred percent accurate… Although it seems very like it could at least be close and is rather plausible.

    A hummingbirds heart beats so quickly we can’t distinguish the individual beats, unless we listen to a slowed down recording. They live for only a few short years. An elephant on the other hand has very slow, measured heart beats. They live for forty, fifty, or even sixty years. Elephants and hummingbirds both have the same number of heartbeats throughout their entire lifespan (when averaged out). If lives are measured by heartbeats, then they both reach the same age. One simply lives its life very quickly and the other at a much more measured pace.

    Beautiful photo of a hummingbird, a very interesting creature