Olympus UK E-System User Group
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Foto Fair Post your photos for friendly, non-critical feedback. This is the place to show pictures if you aren't yet ready for full-blooded critique, or simply want to share an interesting picture with other e-group visitors.

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  #16  
Old 7th February 2019
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Re: Hummingbirds

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Originally Posted by drmarkf View Post
Great stuff, thanks.
I remember from before the difficulties with the E620/50-200 speed of acquisition of focus of such transiently darting species. Great fun trying, though. Hopefully the E-M1ii will acquire focus more quickly.
The E-M1.2 will acquire focus fast enough. The challenge is having it acquire focus on the subject. One thing struck my mind: to eliminate risk of scouting background beyond range you could take advantage of the focus limiter set at e.g. 4 meters or whatever fits you.
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  #17  
Old 7th February 2019
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Re: Hummingbirds

Beautiful bird craft Tord. Superb subjects too.
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  #18  
Old 7th February 2019
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Re: Hummingbirds

Beautiful stuff.
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  #19  
Old 24th February 2019
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Re: Hummingbirds

Tord - currently in Antigua and having a lot of fun with the 40-150/MC-14 on the E-M1ii. For the hummer species and habitats weíve seen so far this has been a good combination. At times the 300 would have been useful, since the hummers Iíve seen so far have been very jumpy and are mostly not feeding from flowers within around 15 - 20í (despite my being extremely patient). I really didnít have space to take both!

One question, please, Iíve tried both silent and mechanical shutter without seeing any obvious rolling effects with wings, although until I get home I canít look at the images on anything bigger than the rear screen. Did you find any problems with silent?
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  #20  
Old 24th February 2019
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Re: Hummingbirds

BTW I asked Petr Bambousek the same question, and Iíve just heard back from him - he used silent shutter throughout his time in Ecuador, as shown here, so Iíll be sticking to that: https://500px.com/sulasulacom/galler...uador-wildlife
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  #21  
Old 25th February 2019
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Re: Hummingbirds

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Originally Posted by drmarkf View Post
Tord - currently in Antigua and having a lot of fun with the 40-150/MC-14 on the E-M1ii. For the hummer species and habitats weíve seen so far this has been a good combination. At times the 300 would have been useful, since the hummers Iíve seen so far have been very jumpy and are mostly not feeding from flowers within around 15 - 20í (despite my being extremely patient). I really didnít have space to take both!

One question, please, Iíve tried both silent and mechanical shutter without seeing any obvious rolling effects with wings, although until I get home I canít look at the images on anything bigger than the rear screen. Did you find any problems with silent?
Hi Mark,

Good to hear the setup you brought works for you. I was using the mechanical shutter for my photos, from old habit I suppose to avoid rolling shutter effects on BIF, which would not have been an issue here.

Looking forward to see your photos. What species have you been able to spot?

Best wishes
Tord
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  #22  
Old 25th February 2019
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Re: Hummingbirds

Thanks, Tord.
So far Iíve identified green-throated Caribs and I believe a Sapphire, but I donít think Iíve yet seen the commonest here (crested Antilles). I have also seen and I hope photographed a smaller species that I canít confidently ID at the moment.

Ive only been shooting in one area - a rocky spit at the entrance to English Harbour at the south of the island - but there are a lot of flowering agave plants there which hummers and bananaquits are going mad for. Weíre just about to move to the west, so will have some more rainforest areas there to try.
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  #23  
Old 25th February 2019
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Re: Hummingbirds

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Originally Posted by drmarkf View Post
Thanks, Tord.
Ive only been shooting in one area - a rocky spit at the entrance to English Harbour at the south of the island - but there are a lot of flowering agave plants there which hummers and bananaquits are going mad for. Weíre just about to move to the west, so will have some more rainforest areas there to try.
I've had some success in the past at Shirley Heights. I'm not sure from your description whether that is where you are or at Fort Berkley. There are some places up the west coast where you can get close to water birds of varying sorts. It's a matter of driving down any road that looks as if it might lead to water. I'm told that in the rain forest they've cleared the old reservoir and are planning to make it a nature reserve. Unless they've put a sign up that too is a matter of following any likely track - on the left as you head west.

We often get to Antigua as the yacht that our daughter and her boyfriend run usually operates from English Harbour.
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  #24  
Old 25th February 2019
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Re: Hummingbirds

Quote:
Originally Posted by drmarkf View Post
Thanks, Tord.
So far Iíve identified green-throated Caribs and I believe a Sapphire, but I donít think Iíve yet seen the commonest here (crested Antilles). I have also seen and I hope photographed a smaller species that I canít confidently ID at the moment.

Ive only been shooting in one area - a rocky spit at the entrance to English Harbour at the south of the island - but there are a lot of flowering agave plants there which hummers and bananaquits are going mad for. Weíre just about to move to the west, so will have some more rainforest areas there to try.
Hi,

Just checked my reference book (Birds of the West Indies) and according to it you should find the same species as on Guadeloupe i.e. the Green-throated Carib, the Purple-throated Carib and the Antillean crested. I remember the purple-throated being very fond of larger flowers e.g. Flamboyant trees and the crested targeting smaller flowers e.g. the Antigua heath, where they can be found in good numbers and quite easy to approach.

Good luck!
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  #25  
Old 25th February 2019
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Re: Hummingbirds

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Originally Posted by Melaka View Post
I've had some success in the past at Shirley Heights. I'm not sure from your description whether that is where you are or at Fort Berkley. There are some places up the west coast where you can get close to water birds of varying sorts. It's a matter of driving down any road that looks as if it might lead to water. I'm told that in the rain forest they've cleared the old reservoir and are planning to make it a nature reserve. Unless they've put a sign up that too is a matter of following any likely track - on the left as you head west.

We often get to Antigua as the yacht that our daughter and her boyfriend run usually operates from English Harbour.
Yes, it’s the spit with fort Berkeley on the end that you access from the Nelson’s Dockyard area (we’re staying at the Admiral’s Inn). Before you get to the final slope down to the fort there are a number of clumps of what look like agave, which at this time of year are flowering prolifically with things like red-hot poker stalks in yellow. Some are on slopes up from the path, which is good for getting the sky as background, and some can be put against the sea.

I’d recommend it when you’re next here, as long as they are in flower. I don’t think there’s much else there if they aren’t.

The hummers do seem very jumpy there: I found the best strategy was to start off sitting on the ground (under trees is possible in some places) a bit closer than they’ll like. That lets nectar build up in the flowers, then after about 15’ I start to move my position back a few feet every 5’. Suddenly you’ll reach some watershed and they’ll start feeding: so far this hasn’t been closer than around 15 feet, which is much further away then I’ve managed before in other places, and it’s why I wish in some ways I’d got the 300 with me.

Just going back for a final session before we move: my wife enjoys the breezy walk out to the fort, so I get a while to shoot!
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  #26  
Old 25th February 2019
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Re: Hummingbirds

Better this time - I could get quite a bit closer. I guess theyíre accommodating to me.
An Antillean Crested came very close, maybe 6í, perching on a twig and looking at me.
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  #27  
Old 25th February 2019
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Re: Hummingbirds

English Harbour is a far cry from what it looked like when I first visited in 1962. I gave a set of scanned slides from the period to the museum a couple of years ago. Are the Century plants in bloom yet? They can be good for humming birds.

They have a good BBQ and steel band at Shirley Heights on Sunday evenings - recommended if you haven't already been.
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  #28  
Old 25th February 2019
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Re: Hummingbirds

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Originally Posted by Melaka View Post
English Harbour is a far cry from what it looked like when I first visited in 1962. I gave a set of scanned slides from the period to the museum a couple of years ago. Are the Century plants in bloom yet? They can be good for humming birds.

They have a good BBQ and steel band at Shirley Heights on Sunday evenings - recommended if you haven't already been.
Yes, I can imagine the changes. Itís all very superyachty now, although competitors in the Atlantic rowing challenge are still coming in, which does give more of a real-life feel! I did some street shooting round the historic area on several early mornings before the tourists arrived: at times there was some nice light. An interesting mix of local workers plus yachting types, some distinctly eccentric.

That museum is really good - I wasnít expecting much, but we spent a couple of hours in there and learned a lot. In fact we thought the whole area was withstanding the onslaught of the modern age pretty well.

Although I was shooting the birds on flowering agaves, Iím sure they werenít Century plants (too much of a co-incidence if they were!). I took some images of them in their various environments, so Iíll be able to check.

We heard the Shirley Heights disco last night, having decided to eat at the Admiralís Inn. Didnít sound like a steel band!

Weíve got Caribbean yachting relatives currently as well. My cousin retired as a commander in the RN a couple of years ago, and is currently sailing round the world with his wife. We missed them by a few days in Antigua - we were planning to meet up, but they had some mast damage and were delayed getting it fixed so had to head off north last week to meet up with their children.
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  #29  
Old 25th February 2019
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Re: Hummingbirds

The steel band gives way to something else as the evening progresses - both are deafening!

The century plants are the very tall yellow ones that actually flower every twenty years or so. There are some on the spit leading to the fort, and also plenty up at Shirley Heights. There's a burial ground up there for the last British soldiers to garrison the island. Most died of illness rather than enemy action. The troops were withdrawn for the Crimean war and never went back.

I was also in the RN which is how I visited in 1962. English Harbour is a classic example of how you can keep old buildings going provided you can find a modern use.
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