Member Monday featuring Jane Palmer

When we first saw this photo, we were super impressed at the detail on such a quickly moving subject. Bird photography can be a tricky art form, and Jane Palmer shows the rewards of patience!

About the Photo

 I love hummingbirds!  We have ruby-throated hummingbirds here in Missouri and they visit from April through September.  I anxiously await their arrival each spring and put out the feeders as a welcome home sign!! I’ve worked on my “hummer” images for several years, perfecting the technique to get clear images of something that moves so quickly and so erratically.  They are not the easiest subject to photograph!  I first had to train the birds to eat from a feeder placed on my deck so that the area they would fly into was somewhat controlled. 

As they got used to being close to me, they relaxed and went about the business of eating–a lot!  To get a beautiful background, I used painted backdrops that I made myself and placed them far enough behind where I expected the bird to be so that they were softly out of focus.  I placed 4 strobes around the plant, pointing upwards, to light the bird and one strobe to light the background and used a remote trigger to fire the master flash.  With my camera on a tripod, I pre-focused on the flower and then just waited for the magic to happen! 

The set up takes a long time and lots of trial and error with the flashes, but once you are set, it’s just a matter of clicking and picking out the best shots.  

Gear and Software

I shoot with a Sony a7riii and used a Sony 100-400 lens to get this shot.  It allowed me to be a bit further from where the bird would be so he didn’t feel stressed.  For processing, I begin in LR then a round trip to PS to do some curves adjustments (the underbelly of the bird is often a bit underexposed) and most importantly, I use PS to remove the multiple catchlights in the eye of the bird.

Photography Preferences

While I am primarily a landscape photographer, I love to photograph flowers and birds as well.  I am also an avid scuba diver and underwater photographer and actually teach underwater photography on location in some pretty amazing places.  My camera has been my ticket to see so many beautiful things!

Photography Inspiration

I have very much enjoyed being a Kelby subscriber over the years.  I have learned the technical aspects of photography from so many of the videos, but I think the most significant things I’ve learned have been about vision and creativity.  I love Rick Sammon!!!  He seems to speak to my creative side and I can often hear him in my head when I’m out photographing!

Favorite KelbyOne Class

Favorite class? Oh, that’s a tough question!  So so many have made a difference for my work, but I guess the one I think of most often is Rick’s class on composition. Great course!!

Connect with Jane

I actually have two websites.  The first is for my personal work. I also have a workshop page where I offer landscape workshops and seminars along with my partner, Craig McCord.

Jane is an incredibly valuable member of our KelbyOne community, and we’re so proud to share her work!

Be sure to submit your photos for a chance to receive a Member Monday feature of your own.