Birding in Costa Rica – Green Violetear (Colibri thalassinus)

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The Spectacular Green Violetear! I guess the first statement to make here would involve my passion for photographing Hummingbirds in Flight! About 7 years ago I started with my first long (ish) lens, the 70-300mm ED, gear drive. Right away, my passion was directed to raptors. After following and participating in several nature and wildlife forums, my dream for hummingbirds in flight became an reality. But! It sure wasn’t easy.

There is a lot of technique involved, we need to be quick with the acquisition of sharp focus, then even quicker to fire frames. I find even to this day, the vast majority of my images are way out of focus. Getting a good lock on a bird is both difficult, and very rewarding when things click!

Contrast is your best friend. Working with available light (always) we need a good background that suggests much different tones then the bird. A bright bird on a dark background, or the reverse if possible. So, this project involves a lot more then pointing the camera at our hummingbird. Even moving your camera 12 inches left or right can make a huge difference.

Tons of practice, patience and tenacity, and you will get these shots. Working with light high in the mountains of Costa Rica is nothing short of magical… pure clean light! No humidity, no pollution, dust, and many times, no clouds!

More techniques later in this series, please email me if you have any questions… [email protected] I am in India right now, but will do what I can to help you when the internet connections are available, along with some time!

The Green Violetear (Colibri thalassinus) is a medium-sized, metallic green hummingbird species commonly found in forested areas from Mexico to northern South America.

The Green Violetear (Colibri thalassinus) is a medium-sized, metallic green hummingbird species commonly found in forested areas from Mexico to northern South America.

Green Violetear (Colibri thalassinus)

If you are interested in seeing more images from any of my workshops, please check out the photo galleries on my website. Later in 2012 we have workshops scheduled in Costa Rica, India, Iceland, Africa, Newfoundland, British Columbia and Tanzania. Check out our tour schedules for more information.

Raymond Barlow

Raymond Barlow

Ray Barlow's passion for capturing birds and wildlife began at the Manila Zoo in 2004. Since then he has established himself as a professional bird and wildlife photographer. Ray is based near to Toronto Canada and hosts photography travel tours and workshops around the world. He goes to places like Yellowstone, Tanzania, Costa Rica, India, and British Columbia. Action photography including animals in chase or birds such as hummingbirds in flight is Ray's specialty. Now being sponsored by Jobu Design gimbal Heads.

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