This article features a collection of handheld photographs captured with an E-M1X, all of which feature pairs of swallows in flight. Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking was used for all of the images in this article.
These photographs were captured during my recent swallow Bird AI test session at Windermere Basin Park in Hamilton Ontario. While I was primarily focused on photographing individual airborne swallows, I did have some opportunities to capture pairs of swallows in flight.
To photograph pairs of swallows I typically like to use a longer focal length and to position myself a bit further away from where I expect this type of interaction to occur. This tends to give me a bit more latitude with how I frame the action in my viewfinder.
These opportunities can be fleeting. Others are a little bit more predictable if the subject birds are flying above nesting boxes… which was the case with the images in this article.
When it comes to photographing swallows the operative words are ‘fast action’. Watching for patterns of behaviour in the vicinity of specific nesting boxes can be very helpful to capture these types of photographs.
This time of year pairs of swallows can regularly be seen flying around the same nesting box. Since no eggs have yet been laid both birds are usually actively flying as they hunt for insects.
The interaction between the swallows can appear calm and benign much of the time.
Other photographs can reveal some aggressiveness or some kind of active pursuit.
There are a good number of swallows at Windermere Basin Park at this time of year. Sometimes capturing pairs of swallows in flight has a definite element of luck.
Capturing a mid-air traffic jam can yield some interesting body postures as we can see in the above image.
On rare occasions the swallows stay close enough together while flying that a few consecutive images can be captured. An example of this are the next two photographs.
The image that many folks really enjoy capturing is a face-to-face altercation with pairs of swallows in flight.
The final image in this article is one of my favourites from my swallow Bird AI test session.
I absolutely love the body positions of the swallows. Their strong visual connection. And, the lighting on the backside of the outstretched wings. Sometimes it pays to have Lady Luck on your side!
My next article, Swallow BIF Technique, will provide some considerations when photographing this subject matter.
Photographs were captured hand-held using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. Images were produced from RAW files using my standard process. Crops of the original images are indicated where appropriate.
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