Shouting Swallow

Swallow Arrivals

The swallows make their way here every year from South Africa where they spend the winter - on the way back here they can cover 200 miles a day, not bad for a wee bird!  You can get some great shots of these birds as they gather nest materials and mud, or later as they feed the fledgling young outside of the nest.


This image was created using the Canon 7Dmk2 and Sigma 150-600mm C lens, rested on a beanbag on the hide window ledge. 

The shot

This one was awfully underexposed coming out of the camera, a mixture of low ISO, and total lack of sun at the moment of shutter click!  As always, its easier to save an under exposed shot than an over exposed one. But in an ideal world, the sun would have stayed and I would have little to do in Lightroom:

This image was shot at 1/250s at F/6.3 with ISO160 @600mm.  Under exposure was inevitable with the sun just dipping behind cloud before firing off the shot - aperture priority was used with centre focus point selected and aimed squarely at the birds neck.  Note the green barbed wire at the  base of the post, and the out of focus wire heading out of the shot on the left hand side.


Once imported to Lightroom Classic CC, the first job was to clone out the out-of-focus wire on the left hand side of the shot - easily done as the background is uniform and the clone tool handled this nicely.  A crop was applied to aid composition using a portrait orientation, and making sure the green barbed wire was not in shot.

Then the whole bird was painted for sharpening by +65, then applied shadows +86 and highlights -35 to whole shot.  +38 vibrance then brought back the washed out colours that the lack of light caused:

The Final Image

Exported at 300dpi for print and another res for web versions, this is the final shot:

Macro Weekend Workshop

July 28th and 29th will be the Oxford Island Macro Weekend Workshop.  Spaces are very limited, and this is the most popular of all our workshops throughout the year - give the centre a call on 02838322205 and ask about the workshop for more info.


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