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I had just finished my early Sunday morning hike/shoot at the Los Angeles Arboretum in Arcadia and was headed towards the exit when I noticed about a dozen photographers shooting hummingbirds on a lavender hedge. I walked over to see what they were shooting and a pair of orange hummingbirds began feeding on the nectar of the flowers. Vey cool. I don't even think I've seen orange hummingbirds before. I asked the group leader if they were a photo club and he advised that he was leading a photo tour for hummingbird photographers from Taiwan. I asked if they were going to shoot anything else. Nope, they were in the US to shoot hummingbirds and they even had another site planned to visit in the afternoon. There are no hummingbirds in Taiwan so they weren't going to waste the opportunity,
The lavender was beautiful, the hummingbirds were beautiful, so making good photos should be easy. Nope. The lavender throws a color cast on the entire image and the little glittering orange hummingbirds were a bitch to capture. Their beautiful shimmering feathers just don't translate on a camera's photos sensor very well. Of course it was late morning with intense lighting which could have been part of the problem. As a general rule, shooting 3 hours after sunrise is not the best lighting. I was hoping that since the sun is low in the sky in late November, natural light diffusion would work in my favor.
Lesson learned: With lighting issues complicating the image, it's best to shoot RAW so the appropriate color correction can be made in post-processing. My camera had been set to JPEG only since I had been shooting college football with the camera previously. I'm also a little lazy. However, I did learn my lesson and will now shoot both RAW and JPEG.
The above image shot was taken with a cropped frame, 16 MP DSLT with 70-400 F4 zoom lens at 10 FPS on carbon fiber tripod.