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on Aug 29, 2012 in Wildlife Photography

Alvin’s Portrait – How’d You Do That?

Having Alvin around has been great fun! Hummers tend to have some personality but Alvin has the extra little bit that just makes you laugh at his antics! I’ve had lots of opportunity to photograph him (know it’s a him from the gorget) over the last couple of months and have enjoyed how he seems to have put smiles on many. That’s just cool! At the same time, folks keep asking how’d I get his portrait? It really is no great secret, nothing magical but it is a whole segment on my Beginning Wildlife Photography course we just filmed. Here’s the recipe, it’s pretty much right out of the Moose Playbook.

The gear set up is basic backyard formula, D4, 300f4 AFS & Pocket Wizard III set up on a tripod perhaps 4′ from Alvin. More importantly is the biological setup, something you won’t be able to see until the class is online. Alvin’s perch is a piece of Manzanita that’s in a Justin Clamp on a light stand 18″ from his feeder (and I mean HIS!) and that is 30 yards or so from the background. All I do is when is wait for the light and shoot. There is no more to it than that, sort of. Getting to this point though takes a little more which is why we made a class out it but when it comes to Alvin’s portrait, that’s everything.