The Need for Speed (and some patience)

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Photographing birds in flight and coming away with a few sharp frames is very satisfying. Photographing swallows and getting anything is a bonus. Coming away with a whole bunch of shots happens very rarely.

Welcome Swallows, like all swallows are super fast and it’s more or less impossible to track and photograph them in flight. The only way to have any chance is to find their favorite perch, check the wind and then with your back to the wind prefocus on the approach path usually taken by the birds as they come into land. After that it’s all down to luck and how aerobatic the birds are within your focus zone. With a bit of luck you should get a sharp shot every twenty or thirty frames. It’s challenging and it’s fun.

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Of course if you can’t get them in the air, you can get them on the stick as they prepare to take off. This is actually the most difficult as you need to anticipate the take-off and press the shutter in time. A fraction of a second too late and you get a nice shot of the stick, but no bird.

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Of course, if you are calm and patient like me, after some cursing and swearing you come away with a few nice shots worth keeping!!

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