Today’s photo is more of a curiosity than anything else. I was out walking a few days ago and passed by a spot that often has some hummingbird activity. I wasn’t really planning to take any hummingbird picture, but I went ahead and changed the camera settings anyway in case one showed up. And one did. I aimed the camera and reeled off a couple of dozen shots in burst mode.

But when I got home I saw that none of them were any good. The autofocus wasn’t set right, so the bird was fuzzy in every shot. But then I looked again and was sort of intrigued by one of them. The background was pure white, and the foreground flower was in sharp focus. With a bit of photoshopping I amped up the color of the flower a bit and turned the hummingbird into more of a silhouette.

And then I stared at it. Is there really anything interesting about this shot after all? Or is it just a routine addition to the discard pile? I’m not sure, though I’m leaning toward the latter.

September 26, 2018 — Irvine, California

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate