Learn With Barn Swallows

One of my many photography goals is to photograph birds in flight. Finding the correct location to take such a photograph requires knowing the bird’s flight plan, where the sun is in the sky relative to that info, what the water’s edge looks like, reedy or open so a photo can be taken from lift-off or only in the sky, handhold the camera or use a gimbal on a tripod, and what camera settings to use.

The other night I spent more than an hour at a local place watching ducks fly in and fly out a couple of times. Plenty of photos were taken as I figured out my camera settings, lighting, and guessing whether that bird was about to fly. Out of all, I was lucky to capture one good photo of a mallard duck.

Mallard duck.

Then I heard about auto ISO and how it is useful with bird photography. I decided to try my newly discovered camera setting on some ducks, hopefully in flight, the next day. I re-read various photography papers about auto ISO and consulted my camera’s on-line manual. So with the auto ISO sensitivity this brings my birds in flight challenge to a different level and somewhat easier, I hope!

I was at a different local place the next morning and the ducks were more interested in eating their meal than flying. I watched barn swallows quickly fly over the water, snatch insects at the water’s surface and then fly off…so fast!

Was I up to the challenge to use what I learned about auto ISO with these fast-flying barn swallows? Why not? I thought if I can capture some good photos of these fliers, then auto ISO will become another tool I can use with my photography! So with camera on the gimbal on the tripod, shutter speed and aperture settings ready and auto ISO on, the shooting began! Barn swallows fly fast in the sky and near the water’s surface. Trying to keep up with them was almost impossible! I took some photos, changed the shutter speed for some photos, and here were the results.

Wow, I actually had some okay photos within my numerous attempts; I am talking at least 100! A good first lesson. I look forward to using auto ISO when the need arises, and hopefully with something that moves a bit slower! Or maybe not; this was fun!

2 thoughts on “Learn With Barn Swallows

  1. You did a Wonderful job with those crazy flying barn swallows !! they are fast
    the pics look great ! anything slower should be a breeze 🙂

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