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 Cave Creek Canyon in the scenic Chiricahua Mountains.

Blue-throated Hummingbird male feeding at thistle flower.

We will be photographing at Birders B&B located on 10 acres along the creek in Cave Creek Canyon near the town of Portal, AZ. The B&B has only two units so if the workshop is filled with four participants they will share rooms. We will have the place to ourselves and not have to contend with other guests or feeders. Information on the B&B can be found at their website at

Broad-billed Hummingbird feeding at claret cup cactus flowers.


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 17-22, 2017


$1,200. per person includes instruction and use of flash set-ups.
$200. deposit required to reserve a space.
Balance is due before February 1, 2017.

The workshop fee does not include lodging, transportation, or meals. You must contact Birders B&B to arrange lodging.

For information on openings available please contact Charles W. Melton at


The dominant hummingbird in this area is the large Blue-throated Hummingbird. Other species that may visit the hummingbird photography set-ups include Anna's, Black-chinned, Broad-billed, Broad-tailed, and Magnificent Hummingbirds.

Group size will consist of only 4 photographers. 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 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 400mm 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.

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


The workshop will take place in the scenic Chiricahua Mountains of southeastern Arizona. The Chiricahuas are one of the premier birding spots in Arizona and hummingbirds are one of their specialties. Photography will take place at Birders B&B located near the town of Portal, AZ.

Black-chinned Hummingbird feeding at Bouvardia flowers. Anna's Hummingbird feeding at Stachys coccinea flowers.


Hummingbirds are not the only attraction in this area. There are a wide variety of other birds and animals which can be photographed.

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, and flowers.

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

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.

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 Chiricahua 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 books, magazines and calendars.

For information on openings or any additional information please contact Charles W. Melton at

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.