Barn Swallow in Flight

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Member: Pinetree3
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About This Image

Catching a shot of a barn swallow in flight is quite a challenge. These little guys are quite fast. I was walking across a field and several appeared to be following me in a rapid dance. Apparently, they were feasting on little invisible insects that I had stirred up. I snapped a lot of high speed pictures, but had difficulty keeping them in the frame. Also, my Automatic Focusing for the most part could not keep up with their quick changes in the direction of their flight. Several hundred of shots later, I did get a couple worth presenting. Thank God for digitial photography.


IgorEling - Dec 02, 2017 06:51 AM EDT

Barn Swallow in Flight

Sally - Jun 22, 2012 05:06 PM EDT
Love the angle this shot is taken on. Nice capture of the streamlined structure of this interesting bird! Congratulations!
anne - Jun 06, 2008 09:41 AM EDT
A beautiful capture of the barn swallow in flight!!! Your picture caught its movement so well and showed off its head and beak to perfection!!! Wonderful picture. Congratulations.
BRIANPADDOCK - Jun 05, 2008 04:09 AM EDT
good capture Pineture3 looks as if it is flying through a hurricane with the position you caught the wings
Karen Moen - Jun 04, 2008 04:46 AM EDT
Wow, this is certainly an image of which to be proud. Excellent color and detail. Well done!
Jas - Jun 03, 2008 02:38 PM EDT
Well done! Amazing shot; it looks like a fighter jet speeding across the sky. :)
sparkle1103 - Jun 03, 2008 10:04 AM EDT
Beeeaaauuuutttifful. Great shot. You are right they are very difficult to get a shot of as they flit flat thru the sky.
Pinetree3 - Jun 03, 2008 07:06 AM EDT
For future reference, here is how I did it: I found that walking through the field stirred up enough bugs, that the swallows would swarm around me. This gave me plenty of subjects to shoot at. Whenever things slowed down, I would start walking again, and a few seconds later, the swallows were back circling. I used a telephoto lens, at about 200mm. I had the cammera set to the sports mode, but also tried shooting in the shutter priority mode at about 2000/sec and above, with a 400iso. That way I had enough light to shoot at fast speed. I then followed the bird with my camera WITHOUT LOOKING THROUGH THE VIEWFINDER. When I first tried to shoot through the viewfinder, I would lose the bird quickly. Later I tried the approach of pointing the camera in the bird's direction while keeping my face close to the viewfinde. I found I could fairly well track the bird, while keeping the camera pointed in generally the right direction. I lost about 1/2 my shots because the bird was not in the frame. The majority of the other half, had the bird out of focus, because the lens and camera could not autofocus in time to get a good shot. I was fortunate to have a CF card with a lot of space, (enough for 1K pictures), so I could shoot multiple bursts at high speed without concern. About 1 in 100 was a fairly good shot, but that was enough. I was surprised how small the bird appeared in the frame, even with the telephoto, but a focused shot with a good lens, enables you to crop the picture fairly tightly and have the final product still be acceptable.
shutterbug - Jun 03, 2008 06:45 AM EDT
Wonderful capture of the bird in flight. Carol
alandrapal - Jun 03, 2008 03:58 AM EDT
Very impressive, Alex! Bravo! Great capture of the barn swallow. There are a lot of violet backed swallows in the area where the great blue herons are nesting, and each summer I wonder if I'd ever be able to capture a shot of one of them, but have my doubts. As you say, they fly amazingly fast.

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