Thursday, August 12, 2010

Swallows in flight

I've seen swallows in flight quite a few times. Up until recently they proved to be very elusive models since the average swallow has a very erratic and rather random flight path. Combine that with their small size and high speed (I am going to do my very best not to quote Monty Python in this post!)

So, what I ended up with was a lot of blurry pictures of landscape where a swallow had just passed.

Untill a few weeks ago during our holliday in Somerset. There on the roof of a pub I noticed three fledgling barn swallows making an incredible amount of noise. Then I saw one of the parents swoop down and very quickly stuff a morsel of food into the fledglings. Despite having consumed most of a pint of Cotleigh's "snowy" ale already on an empty stomach I managed to get my camera out of the car and shoot a few frames.

Now this was at 1730 on a very overcast afternoon. Not much light. I quickly found out that I needed 1/2000 to freeze the action which ment shooting at high iso and almost wide open. Even at 300mm I had to crop so I ended up running Dfine 2.0 to remove the worst of the noise.

(all pics clickable)






Despite the obvious shortcomings I think these are excellent examples of behavioural pictures, they show behaviour that you don't see all that often or easily.

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