Catching Swallows

One of my regular photographic challenges (self-imposed) is photographing swallows (or swifts) while they swoop over water or across fields. Mostly I walk away with no success at all, but in the last week I’ve managed a few that while far from perfect are at least usable. The difficulties are many: keeping the bird in the frame while it speeds across the lens; keeping the lens in focus and relatively steady; having a fast enough shutter speed; and capturing the bird while it’s facing in an acceptable direction (youu don’t really want back views).

As I said, these ain’t perfect, but hey are among my better efforts. I’ll start with one from last week diving over the pond and – double bonus points – with its beak wide open!

Swallow diving over Falmer Pond

Swallow diving over Falmer Pond

The rest are from today, when the light was decidedly iffy. The ISO was ramped up to 1600 as getting anything usable depends on speed. Ths is actually a fledgling, but it can still motor!

Swallow in flight over fields at Falmer

Fledgling swallow in flight over fields at Falmer

Swallow in flight over fields at Falmer

Swallow in flight over fields at Falmer

Swallow in flight over fields at Falmer

Another one with mouth open! More bonus points 🙂

To make up for the roughness of those, one ‘proper’ photo, also from today. I took quite a few of this group of ducks passing the time of day, but this is the pick.

Three ducks at Falmer Pond

Three ducks at Falmer Pond

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D Mark II and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens.

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