Liftoff!

Liftoff!

Photographing Barn Swallows in flight is a tough assignment. They're so quick and agile in the air that managing to capture them in the frame at any proximity with good detail is close to an impossible task. Here I was observing them on the ground, from a low angle, preparing for possible liftoff. And it did pay off! A car went by, scaring some of them, so I did manage to get the group in various poses in the air and on the ground.

What do I like about this photo? The composition is interesting - no two birds are in the same pose, so we can observe the full glory of their beauty from multiple angles at once. The low angle of view also makes for a very striking and contrast-filled photo. The shallow depth of field (I used an open aperture - f/6.3, the most open my lens supports at 400mm focal length) ensures that the birds are in focus and everything else is blurred out. Except for a bit of ground where they're standing, which is also interesting.

What would I want to improve? Being closer to the action would have resulted in more details visible, which would have been an improvement. Good sunlight (it was very cloudy at the time) would have enabled me to lower the sensitivity, also allowing for more details and sharpness.


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