Monthly Archives: June 2010

CTO your flash for electric blue skies | Poulsbo Photographer

A group of humming birds have been visiting our feeder 24/7, so it seems.  I’m sure they come down from their sugar highs to get some rest.  After a few days of watching these little guys, I decided to set up the camera and 70-200 2.8is lens on a tripod.  The feeder was hanging right outside our kitchen window.  So, I shot from inside the kitchen.

The trick to getting electric blue skies like this is to set your camera’s white balance to it’s tungsten setting.  But, your subject won’t look right if your not gelling!  Here’s what I did to make the following images:  I put two flashes with CTO gels on either side of the feeder to cross light them.  I then set the camera white balance to tungsten.  The tungsten setting basically  shifts the color of your picture to blue.

What’s a CTO gel?  CTO stands for color temperature orange.  In this instance, the gel is color correcting the humming bird by shifting that blue back to “normal”.  The flashes were triggered remotely with pocket wizards.

We have learned that food coloring is not good for humming birds, and are now going colorless.  They like it just the same.

humming bird, photography, blue sky, lowell sannes, poulsbo photographer


humming bird, photography, lowell sannes, kitsap photographer

Dreamy photoshop composite:

humming bird, golden sky, composite, photoshop, lowell sannes photographer, kitsap