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Our critics praise and pan your pictures
"You can almost feel the warmth of the Mexican sun. And therein lies my only beef: The bright sun is causing highlights on the blossoms and the bird’s back that are a bit too bright for my taste"—Ingrid Spangler
Photo © Fernando Arciga, Mexico City, Mexico. Gear: Sony Alpha 350, Sigma 70-300mm DG Macro lens set at 300mm, tripod, remote shutter release. Exposure: f/5.6 at 1/500 sec, ISO 400; multi-segment metering.
Photographer’s statement: “I took this picture in my backyard. I have some Aloe Vera plants, which are in full bloom during the spring and summer. Hummingbirds love these flowers.”
Our critics say…
Ingrid Spangler: This is a pretty shot of a hummingbird feeding in bright sun. I like just about everything about this shot: the lovely blue of the bird and the orange of the aloe blossoms as well as the framing and composition. You can almost feel the warmth of the Mexican sun. And therein lies my only beef: The bright sun is causing highlights on the blossoms and the bird’s back that are a bit too bright for my taste as I'd like to see more detail in the birds feathers. Other than that, a lovely capture.
Mason Resnick: I agree with Ingrid—it’s an excellent shot that was well-planned, but the sunlight is causing a too-hot shadow. Beyond that, I am somewhat distracted by the blurred white shape in the background—it looks like it’s part of a fence or porch. That could be rectified next time by simply being aware of potentially distracting forms in the background, and shifting position if possible. Since it was the photographer’s home, he could have hung a dark bedsheet or something similar over the white to remove that distraction.
Jack Howard: Having never successfully nailed a hummingbird shot yet, I have to commend the captured moment, and love the framing and complementing color palette of the bird and flowers. And I fully agree with Mason that this is a completely controllable situation, so it would have been very wise to have draped something--bright or dark--over the distracting bokeh background to really make the subject pop, and this would pop really great off either black or white.