Hummingbirds consume almost half their weight in sugar every day to survive, and therefore prefer flowers whose nectar has a sugar content of 10% or more. Many people set up hummingbird feeders in their yards to observe and enjoy these tiny creatures, but Brian Maffitt, of Chestnut Ridge, New York, decided to take this a step further. He set up an angled mirror and used a camera to capture these birds in action.


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“I sat on my patio and took a few hundred pics over several hours,” Maffitt writes on Reddit. “I had the camera locked down in manual mode, and used a cable remote to shoot bursts when they would show up to feed…It’s a composite image of about 60 photographs…and I didn’t overlap any of them when I composited them. It was just an artistic choice.”

The birds in the photos are mostly female Ruby-throated hummingbirds. Maffitt used Canon 5D Mk III at 1/4000/sec, f 5.6, using a Canon 100-400 zoom lens. The images were put together in Photoshop using approximately 70 layers, with a final file size of 3600 pixels by 11,000 pixels.

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“I sat on my patio and took a few hundred pics over several hours. I had the camera locked down in manual mode, and used a cable remote to shoot bursts when they would show up to feed…”

This is what the setup looked like:

“When I was setting up the mirror it attracted some curious titmice”

Another example of a Photoshop file created to capture the motion of House Sparrows: