The Art of Obsession

There’s a distinct possibility that the only reason anyone gets into the arts is to have a socially acceptable outlet for an obsessive personality. Certainly being obsessed with a romantic prospect has produced some of the best music, film and paintings you’ll find. Obsession is what gets you the dedication to learn a craft and from there you roll the dice. Fail miserably, get by or succeed wildly are all possible. And you must stay obsessed to continue. It’s an insane life choice.

This is my way of excusing the fact that I’m going to talk about hummingbirds again. And there’s no way this is the last time.

I did try the camera set at 60 frames per second and no, it didn’t help at all. Well, my image went from 3 pair of wings to two, so I suppose it did help a bit. The image above shows my double winged still. I can almost imagine I caught a little colour as well as blur. But it’s no where near fast enough. I’m also definitely too far away. The resolution (2.7k or 4k) just isn’t giving me enough pixels for that small an object at that distance. If only I could get one closer…

You would think so wouldn’t you? And here’s where obsession starts to make you feel crazy.

Immediately after going up I am buzzed by a humming bird. He flies right passed the lens of the camera and pulls up beside me. No more than 1m (3ft) from the drone. Then races off. On the video the brown blur is obvious and huge compared to the dots of light I’ve been looking at. Yes, I spend far too much time watching video, grabbing stills and zooming in on dots of light. I can’t wait to run through these stills.

So here’s the clip. First at full speed, then 50%, then 25%. Then 6 frames of stills from the video. The middle 4 are where the hummingbird flies past, I included the one before and after for comparison.

So there you have it. Humming birds are some weird quantum creature that only exists in motion. Oh, and their brain is 4.2% of their body mass. Ours is only 2.

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