Barn Swallows in Flight

Critique Style Requested: Standard

The photographer is looking for generalized feedback about the aesthetic and technical qualities of their image.


Getting shots of swallows in flight has always been a challenge for me (generally unsuccessful). These Swallows were flying over a small creek running into the ocean and there was a brisk north wind, so when the swallows flew into the wind they slowed down considerably allowing for some fairly decent shots. I took almost 400 shots, here’s three I liked.

Specific Feedback

Any thoughts always appreciated.

Technical Details

Canon R5; 100-500 at 500 mm. 1/4000 at f7.1; ISO 500, 400, 500 respectively.

1 Like

Nice series. I can only imagine how difficult it is to get such a small, fast bird in the frame. It looks like you had some decent light - not too harsh. I like the reflection in #2. All-in-all, well done.

I love the action in the first, Allen, though the image quality isn’t as good as the other two. The second is wonderful. That first one looks like it’s picking a bug off the water-did you by chance get any more definitive shots of that behavior?

These shots are superhuman!! My hat is off to you!

Nice catches of this extremely tough to get subject. The first image shows interesting behavior but I prefer the second and third due to better sharpness. Wonderful captures! I’ve tried to get these in flight and am still trying for my first acceptable shot so big kudos! Well done.

Thanks, @terryb , @Dennis_Plank , @Diane_Miller , and @Allen_Sparks for commenting. I liked the first for the behavior, but agree it’s not as sharp as the rest and the eye looks a bit funky to me. I think the detail is the best in the third, but I like the banking pose of the second. It was a strong wind they were flying into and at times they were basically hovering, so I had time to lock on the bird. I did get one shot with the mouth open, but no bug in the frame.

P…S. I accidentally uploaded the wrong images. These were some minimally processed images I sent to a friend and not the final PS version.

Hi Allen: You can either add the final versions (probably at the top) or delete and replace the current versions if you wish.

1 Like

Hi Allen
These is serenely a talent effort, tracking Swallows event with a head wind is not easy.
I am looking forward to the reposting’