01 December, 2006
Working for the National Geographic, Part 3: Hummingbirds
To celebrate the first anniversary of this assignment, let’s go on with today’s post!
After working on the Pantanal story, in December 2005 I was hired again by the National Geographic Society. This time I spent two weeks on the field as a producer, photo assistant and guide for Colombian photographer Luis Mazariegos, who is working on an upcoming story about hummingbirds. Mazariegos, author of the highly praised book "Hummingbirds of Colombia", has been a specialist on hummingbird photography for over 25 years, and is considered as the photographer who has the vastest image collection of these birds in the world.
We traveled long distances in search of very specific objectives, such as the Hooded Visorbearer Augastes lumachella, a species who is confined to an extremely restrict area in the region of the Chapada Diamantina (Bahia State, Brazil). We went from São Paulo to Ubatuba, then Itatiaia, Minas Gerais, Bahia, Rio de Janeiro and Espírito Santo, always searching for hummingbirds. I was impressed with Mazariegos’ expertise and awareness when taking care of these birds, about which he is a great specialist – and not just on the photographic aspect. For this reason, even though photography is not his main professional activity, the Nat Geo chose him to take the photos for the article.
Ultimately, despite the intense working rhythm, I even had time to take my own photos, some of which illustrate this post. Hummingbirds are always very hard to photograph due to their quickness and the iridescence of their feathers, but when you get a good image all efforts are worth it.