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View Full Version : A challenge to all Photographers.



canismajor
27-05-12, 10:48 AM
Here's the challenge; To take a clear, sharp image of one of our summer visitors, the SWIFT.
I've been attempting this very difficult feat without much success. Sure I have some images but they do not fit the requirements above. Why is this difficult?, I'll tell you why; the SWIFT flies at very high speeds and it twists and turns in ways that nothing that man has made could ever match!. The distance between bird and camera is changing so quickly that I doubt any auto focusing system could keep up. It's possible to capture a fluke image if you fire enough frames on your camera's max frames per minute of course, but don't forget the image must be a good frame filler. I've been trying this; watch the birds as they hurtle around and make a guess on how far away they are, then look at any subject that roughly matches the same distance. Then focus your camera on that and set it to MANUAL focus. Next, practice tracking the birds , panning with your camera to get an understanding of how these birds manouvre. As you pan with them watch for any that come into your preset focusing range and if they do then fire off the shutter. I find it impossible to focus on the birds using AUTO focus, that's why I recommend leaving camera set at a pre-determined focus and then fire off when a bird comes into range. This is a truly spectacular bird to photograph and when you try it you will know why!. Here's a slightly easier challenge if you can't get a SWIFT, try to photograph another summer visitor, the SWALLOW. This too flies at breakneck speeds at times but not as fast as the SWIFT, and at times flies quite leisurely so it could be possible to capture one AS IT FLIES which is the challenge. All the best to you all, and I hope we can see some spectacular pics soon in the gallery, come on, you know you can do it if you try!. Good luck.

travelbug
29-05-12, 08:33 AM
Hi Mike, what a challenge!! Like you I have been in my garden "trying" to catch these birds, we have the swifts about at the moment, but as you say Mike they "dart about so quickly!! I'm game Mike to join you in the challenge to catch one of these birds on camera! indeed this is going to be great fun!!..Caroline

travelbug
29-05-12, 10:09 AM
Hi Mike, just looked at my images I took the other day, not sure which bird it is I took! I think it is the swallow, can you take a look at it for me please Mike, I will pop it in the gallery, many thanks..Caroline

graham_c
29-05-12, 11:07 PM
I know where a stuffed swift is does that count? lol... Graham

travelbug
30-05-12, 08:00 AM
I know where a stuffed swift is does that count? lol... Graham

lol Graham!! I don't see why not! Mike's not put anything in the rules about not being stuffed!! as long as the image is clear and sharp!! so you might get away with it lol!! :)..Caroline

canismajor
30-05-12, 04:13 PM
'Ello 'Ello, what's all this 'ere?. Stuffed birds indeed!!!. LOL, the only give-away with stuffed things is the glass eyes don't you know, and also the feathers appear dull. Nice try Graham lol. All the best.

graham_c
30-05-12, 05:32 PM
That's areal shame I was going to fire it from my Dennis the Menace catapult and take it mid air... Graham

Blitz Photography & Prod
03-06-12, 12:03 AM
i like your challenge mike

but i have trouble at times slowing sparrows down never mind some thing so high in the sky and as small lol unless i win the lotto and can get my that sigma 500mm f 2. 8 but if i do get to see any ill give it ago with my little Sigma 70 - 200mm and a day with out any rain :)

canismajor
11-06-12, 11:39 AM
i like your challenge mike

but i have trouble at times slowing sparrows down never mind some thing so high in the sky and as small lol unless i win the lotto and can get my that sigma 500mm f 2. 8 but if i do get to see any ill give it ago with my little Sigma 70 - 200mm and a day with out any rain :)
Hi Russ. Believe me, your 70-200mm lens is more than enough for the job as the Swifts fly very low for quite a time, it all depends on how the air pressure is affecting the insects on which they feed on. Sometimes it's high and sometimes it's low and that determines the height of the birds as they charge across the sky like a bolt of lightning, such is their speed. They do at times almost do a kind of hover at a much slower speed, and that's the time to snap them. All the best mate. Mike.

graham_c
14-07-12, 06:51 PM
Hi
I managed a few photos of Swifts. What i discovered is take a dog into a field of long grass, as the dog wades through the grass, it disturbs the insects and the Swifts follow the dog for an easy meal. Also try it on a windy day, stand up wind and the wind should slow them down

travelbug
15-07-12, 08:20 AM
Hi
I managed a few photos of Swifts. What i discovered is take a dog into a field of long grass, as the dog wades through the grass, it disturbs the insects and the Swifts follow the dog for an easy meal. Also try it on a windy day, stand up wind and the wind should slow them down

What an interesting discovery Graham and as you say an easy meal for the Swifts! with a discovery like this I wonder if we will see more swift images in the gallery!..Caroline