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Archive 2012 · How to get good pictures of swallows
  
 
Bsmooth
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · How to get good pictures of swallows


I found a place to take images of these every day, and yet after 3 days all I have to show of these pint size missles is this.








Jun 19, 2012 at 12:52 AM
birdied
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · How to get good pictures of swallows


I wish I could help, but I can't even get the shot you have

Birdie



Jun 19, 2012 at 01:13 AM
Bsmooth
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · How to get good pictures of swallows


BTW I shot this using a Canon 1DMk2 with a 100-400 at a shutter speed of 1/1000.


Jun 19, 2012 at 01:23 AM
jasonpatrick
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · How to get good pictures of swallows


Here's what I do. I set up with a tripod at a safe distance from one of their nests/boxes and use a remote. Shutter speed needs to be near 1/2000 to get total motion freeze. I shoot perpendicular to the nests/boxes because they usually enter the box straight on - or on a line with your focus. Pre-focus on the box and turn the AF off (or use rear button for af and shutter for exposure only) set up camera/lens so that you're viewing the area right before the box (you don't want that in the frame if possible). As they come in and out to feed the kids, blare off shots... Even with all that...I still don't get stellar results.

These two were taken with a 1dII and a 400mm 5.6 prime. Both have wing blur due to the SS not being fast enough, but I like them.















Edited on Jun 19, 2012 at 01:58 AM · View previous versions



Jun 19, 2012 at 01:44 AM
KCollett
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · How to get good pictures of swallows


I would concur with the method used by Jason.


Jun 19, 2012 at 01:55 AM
 

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jasonpatrick
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · How to get good pictures of swallows


Here's two more...These were just freehand with the 1DII and 400mm 5.6...these are the best two out of probably 3 or 400 shots. Good way to wear out a camera . The first are tree swallows and these are barn swallows.













Jun 19, 2012 at 02:03 AM
morris
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · How to get good pictures of swallows


The advice to learn all you can about your subject is critical to capture good images of swallows. You need to learn to read their movement, and to anticipate where they will go. Expect this to take a lot of practice and you can capture wonderful images.

First off, find the places they like to land. Set up at about 8 feet to 12 feet and wait for them to come in and land. Then be ready for takeoff and capture them after blasting off. When you are better practiced you can capture them landing as well. On a windy day anticipate there taking off into the wind and take advantage of their slower start. They will turn quickly and you will need to learn to track them as this happens. This is very difficult and you want to capture them before the wind is at their back as they will go too fast at this point. On a very calm day they will be in the air attacking all the bugs and this is your best chance though you may get eaten alive.







Also, consider using a TC for some more reach and fill flash to light up the iridescent feathers.

Good luck and have fun.

Morris



Jun 19, 2012 at 02:09 AM
Bsmooth
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · How to get good pictures of swallows


I saw your shots Jason, and I did try and see what there habits were. As far as a wind though it was changing throughout the day. I almost fell over a few times just trying to track them.
I may try my 70-200 next time as it focuses much faster than my 100-400. The 100-400 just is really too slow, at least for this in midair.
Your shots Jason were what got me to try this in the first place. I was going to PM you, but sometime I just feel I'm butting in, so I'm really glad you responded as well as everyone else.
It amazes me how much these little guys have to work just to keep there young fed.
Thank you very much for the info and help.



Jun 19, 2012 at 01:36 PM
jasonpatrick
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · How to get good pictures of swallows


Feel free to PM anytime. I'd definitely try to set up so that you're pre-focused. The 70-200 is a great lens, but as it is, 400mm still looks more like a dot on a photo ometimes, and there's not a ton of room to crop with the 1dII.


Jun 20, 2012 at 02:29 AM
Bsmooth
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · How to get good pictures of swallows


Its just they actually get so close. Its basically a huge lot of land that was left by a former estate. After a lot of just watchingthe swallows and knowing they do eat bugs. I noticed every time someone new walked onto the estate the swallows basically followed them, because as they walked there feet scuffed up the longish grass stirring up bugs , which the swallows were more than happy to gobble up.

Thing is I didn't want to follow every person coming in. I can just see me telling them, "i'm not really following you, its pictures of the swallows I'm really after !"



Jun 20, 2012 at 01:38 PM





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