View Full Version : Fiery Throated Hummingbirds

Moe Richard
08-19-2019, 01:58 PM
These are two Fiery Throated Hummingbirds showing dishesence of the bill; a warning sign that they are invading one of their territories. I saw this behavior several times but this was the only time I was able to capture 2 birds at the same time with this display.

It was drizzling quite heavily when this image was taken and I did clone away the raindrops because they were too distracting. Also of note, one can see the reticular lattice pattern I mentioned in the previous Dunlin post. Please see further information in the gear forum.

Iso-2000, 300 mm PF, F8, 1000th, D 500, handheld, no flash, 70% full frame.


08-19-2019, 06:13 PM
I think the interaction is well captured and great subjects!
The processing looks a bit off. The back of the bird looks noisy and crunchy.
Beside the rectangular pattern which I can see the BG has noisy and blotchy areas.

08-20-2019, 01:12 AM
I like the interaction but I agree it is held back by poor processing. the image has a strong blue and magenta cast, it is very noisy and the highlights are blown while blacks have no details. Worth going back to RAW and processing from scratch


Dorian Anderson
08-20-2019, 11:58 AM
Beside the processing issue already noted, I would have tried to find a shooting angle with a more uniform background. The many light areas are really distracting as shot.

Moe Richard
08-20-2019, 01:23 PM
Repost Only processed with DxO Photolab for noise reduction on bird, ACR, Nik Define for background noise reduction, and TK Sharpening action at 10%. No blurring. Raindrops cloned away.

John Mack
08-20-2019, 04:39 PM
Great interaction and i like that lichen covered perch. Background is nice as well.

08-20-2019, 08:14 PM
Hey Moe, much improvement, great capture!

08-21-2019, 01:39 AM
repost is a bit better but still has major issues, the colors cast, heavy NR, no details in the blacks and the paintery look and blown highlights on the bills. it is worth rethinking the process flow as well as monitor calibration


Arthur Morris
08-21-2019, 09:11 AM
Repost is surely less dense but it looks not too bad to me.

with love, artie

Moe Richard
08-21-2019, 01:57 PM
Here's another repost with color casts reduction and some work on the bills. Still confused about the noise reduction issue.
First image is previous post, second image is newest repost

08-23-2019, 07:58 PM
I got Moe (David's) NEF file and pushed it through my standard workflow, I took out the heavy color cast and tried to recover some of the details in the blacks. However there are two factors that make it impossible to achieve a high image quality in this case, these are listed below:

1) the original was underexposed by about 2 stops. I raised the exposure by +2EV in C1P but this means an effective ISO of almost 8000! (original was ISO 2000). There is no way a D500 can deliver a clean image in this condition, the blacks are flat and have no details, the signal is lost in noise and there are no fine details left to recover. When using crop/ high density sensors such as the D500/D850 it is crucial to get the exposure right in the camera, especially at high ISO. In general these bodies do not perform well above ISO 1600, if underexposed there is no hope.

2) the critical focus point was on the moss between the two birds, this means none of the hummers were tack sharp as the perch is angled towards us. This also contributed to the lack of details on either bird

plus there are no sensor artifacts, the artifacts seen in Moe's original post and the one he posted in the gear forum are form the RAW converter or the various filters he was using.

I am going to stick this thread for educations purposes

hope this helps



Arthur Morris
08-24-2019, 04:07 AM
Excellent stuff above, Arash. Your version is a huge improvement; le's not forget in addition that Moe's significant crop affected the image quality.

with love, artie

08-24-2019, 11:57 AM
Excellent thread, thanks to Moe (Dave) for submitting this and Arash for taking the time to re-process.

Moe Richard
08-24-2019, 01:40 PM
Thanks to everyone who looked at this and assisted in making it a better image. Special thanks to Arash who used his own workflow to reprocess and make this an educational experience not only for me but anyone else.
During this whole process, I certainly learned to be a lot more critical and look a lot more closely. Yes the exposure could have been considerably better and I realize that is what led to the most problems. In this case
I just couldn't think fast enough and adjust the exposure. I have included my own most recent version of this image.