Barn Swallow Acrobatics

Barn Swallow Acrobatics

Barn Swallows are incredible to observe. They have amazing control in flight, quickly changing direction all the time. This makes them very hard photography targets - us mere mortals are usually not quick enough to catch them in the frame for a long enough time for the camera to grab focus.

Fortunately my camera was quick enough in this occasion (truth be told, this is one of only about 5 successful photos from about 1000 that I took), and it shows the unmatched body control the Swallow has while in flight, right next to the water surface.

What do I like about this photo? The body pose is interesting. Incredible, actually. The little bird is shown in all its glory, with the dark upper side, the red face, the lighter lower side, and the tail fanned out completely. The proximity to the water also adds a lot of interest. I used an open aperture to have a shallow depth of field, so the bird is in focus, while most of the water is not.

What would I want to improve? I would have liked more details, with the bird being closer and therefore larger in the frame. No success with that this time, even though I tried. They just moved too quickly for me. Some sunlight (it was cloudy that day) would have made the colors of the bird and the water more vibrant, too.