For years I’ve been fond of saying that photography is my anti-drug. When the world is too much with me, I seek solace in nature, which I am fortunate to find in my own backyard. Today I spent about three hours trying to photograph some of the many hummingbirds enjoying the post rain goodness of our eucalyptus tree flowers. The flowers themselves are too high up for me to get good shots, even with the 70-200 zoom with 1.7x teleconverter, but the hummingbirds rest on the lower branches of nearby trees, so I looked for the best light and caught what I could. Still, I struggled to capture the birds in motion, so I dropped the shutter speed from 1/1000 to 1/250. What? I tried to freeze action with a slower shutter speed? Yes, because that’s the camera’s sync speed for flash, and the flash fires far faster than 1/1000, freezing the action while providing enough light for a good exposure.
As I worked on these photos, a Nick Cave lyric played in my head: “I was just a boy when I sat down to watch the news on TV. I saw some ordinary slaughter, I saw some routine atrocity. My father said don’t look away, you got to be strong, you got to be bold now. He said that in the end it is beauty that is going to save the world now.” I think so. I hope so.