Friday, 6 May 2011

Swallows (Hirundo rustica)

From March through to October each year, the farm on which I live is alive with swallows, whirling overhead or skimming low over the pond, fields and farm yard. That they arrive each year is a miracle of migration and testimony to the wealth of insect food available and opportunities to nest. They vary, of course, but they are for me the very colours of Africa – their vivid blue wing feathers, the rich sand yellow of their undersides and the terracotta of their throats. None of which is evident in these failed attempts to capture them properly in harsh sunlight. I had hoped to shoot one in flight, but my word they're fast and I struggled to pan the lens quickly enough to get a decent shot. I will try again, but in the meantime here are a couple of near misses…

Canon 1Ds MkII 1/1,000 sec, f/13, 500mm at ISO 400

Canon 1Ds MkII 1/4,000 sec, f/7.1, 453mm at ISO 400

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