The Digital Photo Guy

Tag: hummingbird

New Photos & New Lens

by on Dec.23, 2016, under gear, Monday Morning Tips, Photos

Time, Effort and Practice Pay Off

The following hummingbird photos were sent by Butch, a former student. As you can imagine, out of every 100 students, probably no more than 1 or 2 stays with photography or advances beyond basic snapshots. Butch has far exceeded what most students ever attain. After about 5 years, out of the clear blue, Butch sent me these photos and added I was the first to advise him to use a flash and HSS to “freeze” hummingbirds in flight. He’s learned well and I applaud his persistence. I particularly like that he used a slow enough shutter speed to leave some blur in the wings.

Canon EF 135/2.0L USM

I recently bought this lens, one of Canon’s sharpest. I’d always wanted one but didn’t have a need for it. Now that I’m mainly shooting studio nudes, I can put it to good use. When I saw it on Canon’s Refurb shop for $799.99, I jumped since it retails for $999. But wait, it gets better. While waiting for the lens to arrive, I noticed Canon had further reduced the price to $679.99. Calling Canon, I was pleasantly surprised when the rep cheerfully adjusted my price and refunded the extra $120. In the end, I got a great lens for 32% ($320) off retail.

As I get older, I’m suppressing my measurbater tendencies. I considered doing a test shoot using various targets to measure and quantify its sharpness compared to other lenses in my bag but the idea was quickly dismissed. I’ll take some test shots and post them over the next few weeks. If you’re a measurbater at heart, read what Roger Cicala, Founder & CEO of says about the EF 135/2.0.

Canon Refurbs are returns or overstocks. A defective or damaged lens goes through Canon’s repair facility where a Canon trained tech goes through each lens. Parts aren’t repaired but replaced and the product is tested. At the factory hundreds of lenses come off the line and each is given a cursory inspection but at the repair center, lenses are tested individually. In my experience, every refurb has always arrived in pristine condition and the only difference is that it may not come in an original retail box. This lens only came with a lens pouch, front & rear caps and paperwork.

In the case of overstocks, a dealer or distributor may have overestimated how many units they could sell or the company may have gone out of business or the product might have been superseded by a newer model or technology. In such cases, Canon sells them as Refurb in the original box, just like you find at a store.

Wishing Everyone a Merry, Merry & a Happy, Happy!

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The Kids Have Fledged!

by on Jun.30, 2011, under gear, Lightroom, Monday Morning Tips, Photo Editing, Photoshop CS2/4, Photoshop Elements

Hummingbird Chicks Have Fledged

The larger chick, Big Guy  (BG, front) fledged this morning, just after I made this photo using a Canon 40D with 50/1.4 plus a Kenko 12mm extension tube and Canon 550EX with a Stofen Omnibounce. I was a bit concerned about using flash but thought the chicks were old enough not to panic. They got annoyed after about seven photos but didn’t seem worried. Since then, I’ve watched mama try to push the younger one out of the nest by flapping her wings but LG (Little Guy) wasn’t going for it.

It’s been an amazing journey, from watching mama lay the eggs to faithfully sitting on them for as much as 50 minutes each hour to seeing the chicks just after hatching. Now, the cycle is almost complete and the new hummingbirds are ready to start their own lives. I’m not a religious person but I can’t help but believe that there’s more to life on earth than PDL (Pure Dumb Luck.) I hope we don’t waste this opportunity with our self-absorbed, entitlement-minded, me-me mentality that says humans can do as they wish.

Photo Editing Tools Overview

Last week, I presented a short webinar discussing the differences between Photoshop CS, Photoshop Elements and Lightroom. I produced this because I saw too many people buying things simply because some “expert” told them so.

Most digital photographers just don’t need all these programs. Even professionals rarely use all these tools. Watch the video and learn how these programs differ and which best meet your needs.

Unlimited access to Photo Editing Tools video

After making a PayPal payment, you will receive a link to the video.


Cleaning Your dSLR Sensor

This was another short webinar I produced to demonstrate a “dry” method for cleaning a dSLR sensor. The “wet” method was the first technique developed for dSLR sensors and it is still highly effective. Unfortunately, there are also serious side effects to methanol. The “dry” method works 99.9% of the time without any of the downsides of methanol.

Unlimited access to Cleaning Your dSLR Sensor video

After making a PayPal payment, you will receive a link to the video.

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