Colorado photographer captures Central American hummingbirds at 1/10,000 of a second |

Colorado photographer captures Central American hummingbirds at 1/10,000 of a second

If you go

What: Hummingbirds of Costa Rica and Ecuador

When: 7 p.m., Feb. 17

Where: North Branch of Summit County Library, 651 Center Circle, Silverthorne

Info: This free presentation will feature the work of local photographer Matt Shetzer. For more info on Shetzer’s workshops, go to Call the library at (970) 468-5887

The Travel Slide Show Series continues Feb. 17 in Silverthorne with “Hummingbirds of Costa Rica and Ecuador,” a free showcase of local professional photographer Matt Shetzer’s work.

Shetzer regularly travels the world taking pictures and hosting photography workshops, but at 7 p.m., Feb. 17, he will be in the Blue River Room at the Summit County Library’s North Branch to discuss his journey through regions in Ecuador and Costa Rica.

It was all in search of “some of the most beautiful hummingbirds in the world,” as he calls them, according to a library news release.

“Ecuador has over 120 species of hummingbirds, and Costa Rica has 50 species,” Shetzer said in the release. “They both offer unique hummingbirds such as the sword-billed hummingbird, whose bill is longer than its body, and the violet-tailed sylph, whose long tail makes it one of the most beautiful hummingbirds in the world.”

Shetzer’s presentation will cover his photographic adventures through Central and South American birding lodges, the creatures he photographed and some of the characteristics that make these birds such a delight to watch for him.

“For the last six years, I have been going down in April and May to Central and South America,” he continued. “I chose this time, as it is not the rainy season in the regions I go to and the hummingbird photography is excellent.”

Shetzer also noted that it’s a good time to take a break during what’s known as the mud season here.

Photographing the hummingbirds, Shetzer used an SLR camera and a short telephoto lens, capturing them in flight even though their wings beat 80 times a second. In addition to the camera and lens, Shetzer also used six to eight flashes synchronized by radio-controlled triggers, according to the release.

“By doing this, I achieve 1/10,000 second exposures, freezing these fast-moving birds and displaying all of the detail and beauty in their feathers,” he said.

Additionally, there will be two more presentations on tap for the Travel Slide Show Series sponsored by Friends of the Library — “Guatemala: A Habitat Build Project and Climbing Acatenago Volcano” on March 3, and “The Orangutans of Borneo” on March 17.

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