1. Welcome to NikonCafe.com—a friendly Nikon camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

Barn Swallow in flight

Discussion in 'Birds' started by ja6ke, Jul 27, 2008.

  1. ja6ke


    Dec 28, 2006
    U.S. D.C. area
    I spent my years as a kid sitting on a tractor watching these guys and have always wanted in flight pictures but never was able to make it work. Yesterday I had a couple of minutes while the grandparents watched the kids so wondered if the D3 would improve my chances. I used the 70-200 fully zoomed. My efforts were basically unsuccessful but I learned much and did get this one. When I zoomed in at first I was upset because I thought the spot was dust on the sensor. Now I think it may be dinner.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


    Anyone have any thoughts on how to get in flight pics of these guys? I think the 70-200 is too short but I already was rarely able to keep them in frame...
  2. you have done pretty well. the 70-200 is too short for the most part. Here is a tree swallow that I watched for a long while, figured out his pattern and set up with 200-400 to catch.

  3. genera


    Oct 6, 2005
    As Dave said, watch and figure out their patterns. They have to slow down to land :rolleyes:  so pay particular attention to where they perch. These were taken with the 70-200VR and a 1.7x TC.

    Cliff Swallows collecting mud for their nests:

    Tree Swallow:
  4. yamo


    Jun 28, 2007
    Santa Cruz, CA

    Greetings. I've tried getting them as the fly in and out of their nests, but it presents two shooting challenges: 1. near the nest they are inevitably in shadows so shutter speed is an issue -or- 2. Once out in the light if it's bright enough for fast shutter speeds, blown highlights are a problem...

    A couple of scouting shots (I haven't gotten back here to take the "real" shots :wink:) ... this was before the fast shutter speed auto-ISO was available, but would be perfect for trying to catch both these scenarios...

    A 200mm would have been fine, I had to step back to get a broad enough field to catch these at 340mm (200f2 + 1.7)

    The shadows at 1/250th

    The blown highlights at 1/1250th

    Jake and Dave's shots are better, but I suspect they have more patience than I to stake out the other end of the swallow's flight pattern :wink:...


    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2008
  5. ja6ke


    Dec 28, 2006
    U.S. D.C. area
    Thanks to each of you for the help. Great pics also.

    I sat and thought a bit about what I am trying to do and decided what I would like is pics of those high wing loading turns I remember them making as they swooped in toward me on the tractor and then broke off. I believe a tc1.7 is within my budget and will give that a try while standing in the field the next time the grass is getting cut.

    Thanks again for the help.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.