Female bluebird in flight

ISO 640, f7.1, 1/2500s

ISO 640, f6.3, 1/3200s

ISO 640, f6.3, 1/2500s

I’ve been taking bluebird in flight shots at the nest box working to get sharpness and a pleasing pose (preferably downward wing beat). Here are my best three images so far. I’d be interested in any feedback on the poses, sharpness, composition, etc. And technique in terms of shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. Think I’ll try bumping up my ISO and try for faster shutter speed and narrower aperture to see if that makes a big difference on these. I pre-focus on the nest box hole and shoot without engaging autofocus for the shot - really hit or miss in terms of the bird being in the focal plane.

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Allen: I think all three frames are great. I really like frame 1 with the cool pose. Looks like you’ve got enough shutter speed to make it work. Tough to pull this off. Very nice images.

All three are really cool shots, Allen. I was trying this a week or so ago and didn’t get anything near this good. Now I know I need to get the shutter speed up higher. Since you’re only at iso 640, I think I’d try for a bit more depth of field. I like the energy in the third image.

All three are great shots to me. Everything is crisp and sharp. Curious how some background detail might look, but if it would be very busy, maybe not. :grinning:

Something about that pose in the first one. Really like that.

Allen, they are all three really great in flight shots. I would be pleased to call either of them mine! Well done. First one is my favorite too.

Hi Allen
Nice work, I like the third shot best. The little bit of motion in the wing-tips shows the seed of the Bluebird in flight. I think shutter of 1/2500 is fine, f8 may add some depth of field. I agree with you picking pre-focus spot. Nice work.

Hello Allen, Appreciate your sharing these beautiful shots and especially technique. Does the male bird share in the feeding process?

Thank you for the comments everyone.
@johnwayne, yes he does. My best shots have been of the female though.

Very cool Allen, I like all 3 a lot, great to get her coming in with the prey items. What body and lens are you using?

Hi Nate, thanks! And oops I forgot to put in that info. Canon 90D, Sigma 150-600 C. Tripod.

Thanks Allen, what focal length also it helps to give me an idea about depth of field.

Gotcha. First two images shot at 451mm. Third shot at 436mm. Taken about 28 feet away from the nest box.

Those are great images but you would probably get a few more keepers bumping it up to iso 800 and F8 or so as it sounds like you were considering. I do a lot of this type of photography and am usually somewhere around F8-F10 and iso’s of 800 to 1250 but I am using full frame bodies which have better iso performance on average.

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These are some very nice in-flight shots of this bluebird, Allen! The variety of insects in each of the photos is an extra bonus for me :slight_smile: My personal preference is for the second image. The display of wing feathers is more elegant and sharper (the extra shutter speed paid off) plus the body position is more natural and balanced. well done on all 3 though!

I like the first and third shots the best. They are all very good. …Jim

All said above – these are just stunning, and a well-deserved reward for the trouble. All are wonderful but I’d favor #3 for the slight angle toward the viewer.

All three of these are fantastic. I really like the 2nd one because it really shows the lovey wing span of the bird. Perfect photos Allen