Swallow Leaving Home

This short article shares a collection of seven consecutive images of a swallow leaving home. This series of photographs captures a swallow exiting a nesting box at Windemere Basin Park in Hamilton, Ontario.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/3200, ISO-2500, Pro Capture H mode, subject distance 4.2 metres

In our first image the swallow is just launching into flight from its perch at the entrance of its nesting box.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/3200, ISO-2500, Pro Capture H mode, subject distance 4.2 metres

The second photograph shows the swallow’s digits grasping on the edge of the nesting box entrance.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/3200, ISO-2500, Pro Capture H mode, subject distance 4.2 metres

The swallow has now exited the nesting box. Its legs are fully extended and its wings are just starting to open.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/3200, ISO-2500, Pro Capture H mode, subject distance 4.2 metres

The fourth image in the series shows the swallow’s wings lifting up as it clears the canopy of its nesting box.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/3200, ISO-2500, Pro Capture H mode, subject distance 4.2 metres

The fifth image in this run of a swallow leaving home is my favourite.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/3200, ISO-2500, Pro Capture H mode, subject distance 4.2 metres

In the six photograph of the run we see that the swallow is starting to bank to its left. The bird’s wing movement is very rapid causing some slight motion blur towards the tip of its right wing.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/3200, ISO-2500, Pro Capture H mode, subject distance 4.2 metres

In the seventh photograph of this swallow leaving home we see a nice extension of its right wing and the bird’s trajectory is on a slight downward path. The seven images above were captured in a total of 0.1167 seconds and are shown as 100% captures without any cropping.

I had to patiently wait for about 5 minutes for this swallow to take flight. About every 10 seconds or so I refocused my auto-focus point on the head of the swallow.

When the swallow finally exited the nesting box it happened so quickly that I almost missed capturing this series of photographs. In the future when positioned in this tightly to a very fast moving bird like this swallow, I will change my Pro Capture H settings to 20 Pre-shutter frames and adjust my Frame Limiter to 20.

Technical Note:

Photographs were captured hand-held using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. Image were produced from RAW files using my standard process.

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2 thoughts on “Swallow Leaving Home”

  1. Hi Thomas,
    I have been a enthusiastic follower of your page for years and I am grateful for all the information you provided, especially on Nikon1 photogrophy.
    The last time however, I see nothing but perfect photos of flying birds which is due to the excellent performance of the Olympus gear.
    I wonder, if this focus could be reseted a bit.
    Thanks for all your work.
    Klaus

    1. Hi Klaus,

      Thank you for your ongoing support over the past years… it is very much appreciated! I will be doing some additional work using my Nikon 1 gear in the weeks and months ahead… specifically the 1 Nikkor 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 coupled with a Nikon 1 V3.

      Part of issue with recent articles has been my inability to get out in the field due to local COVID-19 restrictions. This has resulted in me needing to focus my bird-in-flight photography on small birds. My Olympus gear is better suited to capturing this particular subject matter. Once I am able to move about more regularly and come into contact with larger birds like herons, egrets and osprey I will have more opportunities to use my Nikon 1 kit.

      Tom

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