View Full Version : Mid-flight

08-02-2013, 09:32 PM
Hi everyone!

I've received some good feedback from family and friends about this image, I would like to know what you all think, thanks in advance!


08-02-2013, 10:14 PM
I'm not a big fan of animal/nature shots and rarely reply in those threads, but I am digging this one. I know how hard it was to capture. I'm digging the blurred background and the sharpness of the bird.

08-02-2013, 10:21 PM
Thanks theantiquetiger, much appreciated :)

08-02-2013, 10:57 PM
Catching these guys is a feat to be sure and in that you did very well. For the size of the image the bird looks reasonably sharp and you've got a little background blur happening. It might be easier to make suggestions if I had some idea what kind of camera you were using and the settings for this shot.

I really like the spread wings. I wish that the background was not cluttered with boats and masts as it make it a bit difficult to find the bird in the shot and I generally prefer to see the bird in the upper third of the image rather than the bottom third. All that being said, I think you did well to capture him at all. Those little buggers are quick! :) It's a very good start to photographing birds if that's where your interest lies.

Mad Aussie
08-09-2013, 05:01 PM
I'm a huge fan of nature shots, and having shot these swallows myself I know how tremendously difficult it is to get one in flight and even nearly sharp! Therefore I can appreciate this shot before even thinking about critique.

My first thought is 'flash damn it' (if you have one of course) ... I always use an external flash if I'm serious about getting birds. The flash is fast, faster than those birds, so if you marry it to the right shutter speed the flash will help freeze the action. In a scene like this it would also have lit the bird up more and helped isolate it from the background which is quite distracting. Unfortunately swallows tend to hang around man made objects so clutter in the background is common. Again, the flash will help you to use a slightly lower shutter speed to help with background blur, but give you a fighting chance of panning with, and getting the bird sharp. Obviously the flash will also highlight the birds features better. The downside is you will lose much of the side light you caught here.

After all that, you could duplicate this frame and add a gaussian or slight movement blur to the upper frame, adjust levels/curves/dodge the bird a bit on the lower frame, then create a layer mask and blend the brightened bird through. That would help isolate the bird in a post process.