Allen's Hummingbird by Barry Blanchard

Allen’s Hummingbird

Photo by Barry Blanchard

Photo of the Week
August 2nd, 2013

Allen's Hummingbird by Barry Blanchard

Photo by Barry Blanchard

Barry Blanchard
Santa Cruz
Canon EOS 1DX
Canon EF 300L f/2.8
Canon 1.4x teleconverter
RRS Gear:
TVC-33S Versa Tripod
PG-02 FG Full Gimbal
ISO 800
1/1250 seconds

Image Copyright 2013 © Barry Blanchard Photography. All rights reserved.


  1. Jim @ RRS says:

    Great shot Barry! The floral elements in the frame really give it depth and a completeness compared to just seeing the bird-on-bokeh type shot – tells much more of a story! Keep up the amazing work!



  2. Chris Kiez says:

    It is a great shot. Getting an in focus shot of a hummingbird in flight is like threading a needle on a roller coaster in a thunderstorm, so well done Barry. The challenge in getting shots that surpass bird-on-bokeh as Jim mentions, is that birds are fast, flitting little buggers that are difficult to set up on quickly with accuracy. Setting up on a feeding site is always a good technique, but is still a challenge, so really well done here by Barry.

    I love birding and 95% of my RRS tripod and mono pod use is for birding, slogging around the brush and fields with my camera and long lens on the tripod/mono pod, carried over my shoulder ready for fast setup and shooting.

    I’ve had other photogs who see me in the field who say that my RRS TVL34 looks heavy, isn’t it a bother to lug my camera around with the tripod extended, over my shoulder. My answer is always two part: Its not as heavy as it looks, but I was a company machine gunner in the infantry once upon a time, and carrying something long and heavy in the brush comes naturally. Second, with my camera over my shoulder, tripod extended and ready to use, I miss fewer opportunities by carrying a tripod with the camera and big lens on, ready to shoot. Why am I telling you this?

    I mention this here, because I would never trust my expensive camera body and long lens to ride over my shoulder like I do for 8 hour days up hills, through brush and such unless it was rock solid kit, like the RRS head and tripod. I’m not shilling for the company or being ingratiating about the product to gain brownie points; its just a simple truth about solid equipment that gives me an edge when out birding.

    I had a heart-stopping moment earlier this year with a $200-ish (non-RRS) monopod. The cheap brass (I did not realize it was brass) connector thread between the ball head and the monopod sheared off without warning while my 7D and Canon 100-400 were on it. Luckily I was wearing my shoulder strap at the time to increase my stability so no harm done, but I said “that’s it”, and ordered my RRS mono pod and head (and later tripod too) shortly thereafter. So now I carry my camera on my RRS tripod or monopod over my shoulder *with complete confidence* when I’m in the field when photographing birds. Basic, key equipment.

    If you’re reading this and considering taking the plunge and buying RRS kit, consider what it would cost to replace your camera and lens if your economy tripod had a catastrophic, sudden fail. And consider what its like to be able to know that if you use your tripod or monopod properly, keep screws tight and in order, you can carry in the field ready to shoot with the confidence of a parachutist who knows his chute will open and function at the critical time!

    Best to all,


  3. Joe Johnson says:

    Barry, the execution of this shot is stunning. I love shooting hummingbirds and one has to have quite some patience to pull it off well. Thank you for sharing.
    Joe Sr.

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