Nesting Time

The Tree Swallows have been busy choosing nest boxes ans have started gathering nesting material. I was out playing with a Sony A6500 I picked up used to break into the mirrorless world and caught this one gathering material. It flew up to a nice perch and gave me some fine poses there as well, but the background was the garage roof. Out of focus shingles look REALLY weird! so I went with this image.

What technical feedback would you like if any?

This is a pretty large crop-how did it hold up?

What artistic feedback would you like if any?


Pertinent technical details or techniques:

(If this is a composite, etc. please be honest with your techniques to help others learn)
Sony A6500, Sigma 150-600 C @ 600mm, hand held, f/8, 1/640, iso 2000, manual exposure. Processed in LR& PS CC. Noise reduction in a combination of DxO and Neatimage. feather detail enhancement using Topaz Detail. Cropped to 6.4 MP (still edges out that original Rebel).

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Dennis, the feather detail is quite striking with the stick adding a fine story component. The bird’s return/pass through is always a special spring time treat.

Exquisite feather details indeed. This doesn’t have any sign of big crop at this size, Dennis. I am amazed at the image quality here even though it looks like shot on one of those dreary days. I have an A6000 that I use for family vacation photos. It might be worth upgrading to this newer body.

Hi Adhika. The 6500 has been on the market for three years, so it’s not too expensive. Used prices for Excellent+ run slightly under $900.

It’s very hard to get a decent photo of swallows but this is a very nice one, Dennis! The grass in it’s beak is a nice bonus. I’ve been wondering how well the a6500 plays with the Sigma lenses. Does the auto focus track as well with the Sigma lens as it does with Sony lenses? I was thinking of renting a Sigma 15-600 and an adapter to try it out.

The pose and the treatment of the bird’s feathers make for a nice catch, Dennis, and the setting with those spiky grasses is very pleasing ; in fact I wonder if getting the immediate fg grasses sharp too would have been ok.

Hi Gary. I don’t have any Sony lenses yet. What I’ve read says the sigma lenses with their converter work great. I haven’t really had an opportunity to give it a good test yet. My first time out, I had a lot of hunting withthe AF, but I think I just need to get the settings down better. Hopefully, I’ll get a chance to work on flight shots in the next few weeks, but our weather has taken a turn for wet and this time of year, I have minimal time for photography.

Bottom line: I don’t know.