Hummingbirds are definitely difficult to shoot as anybody who tried will confirm. They move fast, they’re small and somewhat shy. But they are quite nice to see in a picture (and in the wild), and they are specially spectacular if they are caught in mid-flight. This is sometimes seen as a kind of Graal for the bird photographer.
But to reach that, you need to deploy a number of photography techniques that could be used on any other bird (possibly larger, slower, less shy). So, it becomes useful for the bird/wildlife photographer to stop and read some of the articles I found recently.
First, “The Incredible Beauty of Hummingbirds in Flight” will give you a good idea of what can be done and good examples of nice in-flight hummingbird photos. You could well take example on the framing and situations.
Of course, you can also do a search on Flickr to find other examples. One such search led me to the impressive image on the left (from Kevin Eddy).
Then, it’s time to take a real lesson from the pros at Digital Photography School: “How to Photograph Hummingbirds.” Steve Berardi, naturalist, photographer, and computer scientist will teach you the basic lessons:
- Know your subject
- Be patient
- Use continuous focusing on your camera
- Use a fast shutter speed
- Take lots of photographs
As you can see, all these could be applied with only slight adaptations to all species of birds and -probably- most wild life photography (not only hummingbirds).