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Coppery-headed Emerald, Male (Elvira cupreiceps)

Coppery-headed Emerald, Male (Elvira cupreiceps)

ID courtesy Tom Friedel and


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Hummingbird Costa Rica 09 May 2012

09 May 2012, taken at the restaurant at the entry to Catarata del Toro, Costa Rica.

(Waterfall of the Bull) a 330 foot high waterfall 30 minutes from our lodge Bosque de Paz)

Costa Rica Eco-Lodge, Hotel, Rain Forest, Cloud Forest, Costa Rica ... near the villages of Palmira and Pueblo Nuevo, near Bajos del Toro, and the Volcan Poas National Park, and the Juan Castro Blanco National Park.

Photo © 2012 “Mike” Michael L. Baird, mike {at] mikebaird d o t com,, Canon 5D Mark III, with Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS USM Telephoto Zoom Lens, with no circular polarizer, medium ball-head on a lightweight Gitzo travel tripod, IS off on, RAW. Proprietary muiti-flash setup by Greg Basco. See EXIF for more settings.


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"How were these hummingbird shots taken?" is a common question/comment in this series. I'm known as "Mister Creative Commons opensource," for my work, but in this case, Greg Basco, our experienced Costa Rica photographer & guide, makes a living helping photographers achieve such beautiful and unique images in his country. Because his setup is proprietary and his style and results have received worldwide recognition, we are asked to respect the privacy of the details of his formula. I can say presently is that it is much like any studio portrait setup, with multiple flashes (think a couple of overheads, a front fill, a background source, rim if you like, etc., set to low manual power to enable rapid shooting. Because we are talking tiny birds and not big people, large soft-boxes and high-power strobes are not required, and flash placement can be as close as possible without being in the scene, as in any studio setup. Much of the magic is really just the the location, where we had hundreds of candidate shots, and hummingbirds buzzed in and out constantly. Providing fresh nectar or sugar water helps. The uniform backgrounds you see are mostly but not exclusively the result of the use colored boards on stands in the background which can be separately illuminated if you wish with a flash. Balancing the ambient light via shutter speed allowed us to make the backgrounds as dark or bright as we liked, once we had the flash power, and desired aperture, tuned to our liking for flash exposure of the birds. If you mess around yourself you will find an equally effective setup and balance of power settings, gels, etc. that will yield an effective and unique style for you too."


NOTE LICENSE CHANGE: Effective 25 Dec. 2012, All Rights Reserved, from this date forward, due to adoption and representation by Getty Images. This image must now be licensed from Getty images.


Image has been replaced with non-watermarked version with a slightly larger crop to meet a 3MP Getty threshold.


Coppery-headed Emerald, Male (Elvira cupreiceps), Hummingbird


Photographed at a restaurant at the entry to Catarata del Toro (Waterfall of the Bull), Costa Rica.

The waterfall is 330 foot high, 30 minutes from the lodge Bosque de Paz, near the villages of Palmira and Pueblo Nuevo, near Bajos del Toro, and the Volcan Poas National Park, and the Juan Castro Blanco National Park, Valverde Vega, Alajuela, Costa Rica

09 May 2012

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Taken on May 9, 2012