Near Famous

Photography by Charles W. Melton
Nature Photography


Hummingbirds are fascinating photographic subjects and at this workshop you can capture wing-stopping images of hummingbirds in flight as they feed at wildflowers. Past participants have been amazed at the results they obtained at this workshop with their first attempts. Several past participants have had their hummingbird images taken at this workshop published in national calendars and other publications. Join Charles W. Melton in the mountains of southeastern Arizona to photograph a variety of hummingbird species. Now being conducted in Miller Canyon in the Huachuca Mountains. A sample of hummingbird images can be seen at the Hummingbird Locations and Stock Images sections.

Broad-billed Hummingbird feeding at ocotillo
Anna's Hummingbird feeding at Salvia greggii

We will be photographing on private property in Miller Canyon. To allow for differences in participants' desires for lodging, I have opted not to include lodging in the workshop package. There are many very nice places to stay in the area and I will provide information on these.

There are many hummingbird photography workshops available. I believe I provide the very best situations to obtain the highest quality images of hummingbirds. When considering a hummingbird photography workshop, ask the following questions. Is the time available for hummingbird photography at set-ups restricted? Will you be photographing hummingbirds at flowers or at feeders? Do you need to provide your own hummingbird flash equipment? At my workshops hummingbird photography is available from first to last light. Participants photograph hummingbirds feeding at flowers, not at feeders. I provide all of the hummingbird flash equipment. You provide the camera, lens, and tripod. A sample of past participants' hummingbird images can be viewed here.


Learn how to capture images of Hummingbirds in flight, their iridescent beauty frozen in time. Discover the equipment and techniques used to freeze the wing motion of these tiny jewels. Join widely published Hummingbird photographer Charles W. Melton in the scenic mountains of southeastern Arizona for this informative and fun workshop into the use of high-speed flashes. See and photograph these fabulous gems from close-up. A small group size of only 4 participants per workshop ensures personalized instruction. Four full days of hummingbird photography.


April 9-13, 2012

April 23-27, 2012


$1,200. per person includes instruction, use of flash set-ups and blinds.
$200. deposit required to reserve a space.
Balance is due before February 1, 2012.


Anna's, Black-chinned, Broad-billed, and Broad-tailed Hummingbirds are regular visitors to the feeders at the workshop location and there should be good opportunities to photograph these species. Other hummingbirds which may be present include Magnificent, Costa's, and Rufous Hummingbirds.

Group size will consist of only 4 photographers per workshop. A hummingbird flash set-up will be provided for each pair of photographers. Photographers will alternate at these set-ups, which should provide each participant with plenty of photographic opportunities. When not photographing hummingbirds there will be many other photographic opportunities available.

Flashes provided include Nikon, Canon, and Sunpak brands. Participants must bring their own 35mm camera and lens. You do not need to have a Nikon or Canon camera, but your camera must have the capability to plug into the flash set-ups by means of a PC outlet or hot shoe. Hummingbirds are small creatures so lenses should be in the 300mm to 500mm range with the ability to close focus using a macro setting or extension tube. Lenses should be able to focus close enough to cover an area as small as 5x7 inches. The closer your lens can focus, the tighter you will be able to frame the hummingbird. Suitable lenses for Canon cameras may be available for use by participants, but arrangements must be made prior to the workshop.

A variety of hummingbird photography techniques will be taught including hummingbirds at feeders, on perches, isolated in flight, and in flight feeding at flowers. There is also the possibility of photographing hummingbirds nesting and bathing.


The workshop will take place in the Huachuca Mountains of southeastern Arizona. . The Huachucas are one of the premier birding spots in Arizona and hummingbirds are one of their specialties. Photography will take place in Miller Canyon, located 12 miles south of the city of Sierra Vista. Some images that I have taken in this area can be viewed by clicking on Ash Canyon and Miller Canyon.

Scott's Oriole
Lazuli Bunting
Ladder-backed Woodpecker


Hummingbirds are not the only attraction in this area. There are a wide variety of other birds and animals which can be photographed. Various types of feeders will be available to attract birds such as Mexican Jay, Bridled Titmouse, Acorn Woodpecker, Arizona Woodpecker, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Gila Woodpecker, Scott’s Oriole, Cactus Wren, Curve-billed Thrasher, Black-headed Grosbeak, Gambel's Quail, Lazuli Bunting, White-breasted Nuthatch, Mourning Dove, White-winged Dove, White-crowned, Rufous-crowned, and Chipping Sparrows, and many other species. Learn how to use seed, fruit, sugar water, and suet feeders to attract birds to natural-looking photogenic situations.

Projected Flash techniques will be demonstrated so bring your own TTL flash and teleflash equipment.

The area is a popular birding spot so bring binoculars if you enjoy birdwatching. In addition to those birds previously mentioned Elf Owl, Whiskered Screech-Owl, and Painted Redstart are just some of the species which can be seen. Many other bird species will be migrating through the area.

There will be many opportunities for Macrophotography, including butterflies and other insects, reptiles, lichen, and flowers.

Mammals such as deer and squirrels are also possible photographic subjects.

Blinds will be available for use photographing hummingbirds and at the feeding stations to photograph other birds.

Bring some of your images to share with the group if you wish.

If you plan to arrive early or extend your stay beyond the workshop there are many locations in the area which provide fabulous photographic and wildlife watching opportunities. One of the best in Tucson is the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. It has a Hummingbird Aviary which is great for seeing and photographing a variety of hummingbird species. Another nearby attraction is Saguaro National Park. These and other locations are described in the book, A Birder’s Guide to Southeastern Arizona, by Richard Taylor. It can be purchased at a variety of locations in southeast Arizona but if you would like to obtain it before the workshop contact the American Birding Association at (800) 634-7736.

Another prime location for obtaining fantastic images of southeastern Arizona wildlife is The Pond at Elephant Head. This fee area, about an hours drive south of Tucson, is run by Bill Forbes, the maker of the PhotoTrap camera triggering device. Blinds are set up around a pond with many movable perches and props. Reservations are required and information can be found at


Charles W. Melton has been photographing hummingbirds for more than 20 years and the Huachuca Mountains are one of his favorite locations for hummingbird photography. He specializes in images of hummingbirds feeding from wildflowers and to date has photographed 15 species of hummingbirds in the U.S. in this manner. His hummingbird images are regularly published in birding magazines such as Birder’s World and Bird Watcher’s Digest, as well as in many books. A photo essay of his hummingbird images appeared in the September/October 1997 issue of Audubon Magazine. He is also the sole photographer for two hummingbird calendars and has presented programs at the 1998,1999, 2000, 2001, and 2005 Hummer/Bird Celebrations in Rockport, Texas, and the 2004 Hummingbird Festival in Tucson, AZ.

For additional information please contact Charles W. Melton at 520 378-9656, by regular mail, or by e-mail at


Name: _________________________________________________________________

Address: _______________________________________________________________


Phone(s): _______________________________________________________________

E-mail: __________________________________________________________________

Camera Equipment (body, lenses): ____________________________________________



Photographic Experience: ___________________________________________________



A Liability Release form will be sent to you and must be signed and returned before participating in the workshop.

Hummingbird Photography Workshop Fee is $1,200.00

A deposit of $200. is required to reserve a space.
The balance is due before February 1, 2012.

Cancellation fee of $200. will apply within 60 days of the workshop. Workshop Fee is nonrefundable within 30 days of the workshop unless your space can be filled. All cancellations must be made in writing.

Enclosed is my check for $ _____________
Please make checks payable to Charles W. Melton.

Mail reservation and payment to :

Charles W. Melton
PO Box 592
Hereford, AZ 85615

All photographs and video on these web pages are the exclusive property of Charles W. Melton and are protected under United States and International copyright laws. The photographs may not be copied, reproduced, manipulated, stored, or distributed without written permission. All rights are reserved.