As a photographer, there are certain shots I find challenging to capture. These include an eagle high in flight, the swift movement of a loon diving for fish just as it breaks the surface of the water, and the beauty of a finely boned hummingbird as it hovers near a food source. This year, with a little more flexibility in my schedule and a new 600 mm zoom lens, I conquered some of these challenges.
One of my greatest joys of the summer was photographing a hummingbird at our yard feeder. Amazing creatures, small hummingbirds beat their wings 38-78 times per second and larger hummingbirds beat their wings 18 to 28 times per second. To capture their movement on film is a challenge but, in doing so, I gained a new perspective.
I had always thought this small iridescent bird never took a break, beating its wings tirelessly midair. So focused was I on the motion of the wings that it never occurred to me to look for the tiny birds in the stillness of the trees. Imagine my surprise this summer when I followed a ruby-throated green hummingbird from the feeder to a branch in a lilac bush; there he simply sat, very still, blending in with the leaves. Perhaps this little bird had been within my view all this time. I wondered how long I had missed this beautiful creature in my own yard. Did I truly believe that the hummingbird never rested?
How many times do we judge something by misinformation that we hold? How might we change our perspective by looking at something through a different lens? Photography has helped me to see how I might get caught in my own biases. When our minds and eyes are fully open, our world can expand beyond our imagination.
Photo: Ruby Throated Hummingbird ©2018 DL Dunton Photography