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Often ignored by me...

Often ignored by me...
Photo Information
Copyright: Bengt Falke (falke) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 153 W: 18 N: 479] (1863)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-06-02
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 400D, Canon 300/4 L IS USM + EF 1.4 ext. II
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/1250 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Map: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-06-07 8:39
Viewed: 3298
Points: 18
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Last weekend we were on the fantastic birding island of Öland, on the south-east side of Sweden. I took at least 300 photos of all kinds of rare birds, but when I scanned through all of them back home, this is the one that captured me the most.

Such a common bird as a Swallow (Hirundo rustica/Ladusvala) that I tend to ignore looking for the rare ones. But when you take the time and really look carefully you see the beautiful colours and the elegant lines. Nature is fantastic, even in the smallest details!

Geographic info:

This is from one of the best birding spots in Sweden. The most southern part of the island Öland, called Ottenby.

Technical information:

I took this photo rawformat and used Adobe Lightroom for some adjustments before the edit in Photoshop CS2 as my CS3 beta expired and have not yet received the sharp version

Just white balance and crop
Noise reduction with Noiseware professional
Sharpening with Photokit capture sharpener

About the specie:

From Wikipedia:
The swallows and martins are a group of passerine birds in the family Hirundinidae which are characterised by their adaptation to aerial feeding. Swallow is also used in Europe as a synonym for the Barn Swallow.

This family comprises two subfamilies: Pseudochelidoninae (the river martins of the genus Pseudochelidon) and Hirundininae (all other swallows and martins). Within the Hirundiniae, the name "martin" tends to be used for the squarer-tailed species, and the name "swallow" for the more fork-tailed species; however, there is no scientific distinction between these two groups.

It is believed that this family originated in Africa as hole-nesters; Africa still has the greatest diversity of species.

Swallows have adapted to hunting insects on the wing by developing a slender streamlined body, and long pointed wings, which allows great manoeuvrability and endurance.

Like the unrelated swifts and nightjars, which hunt in a similar way, they have short bills, but strong jaws and a wide gape. Their body length ranges from about 10–24 cm (3.9–9.4 in) and their weight from about 10–60 g (0.4–2.1 oz). The wings are long, pointed, and have nine primary feathers. The tail has 12 feathers and may be deeply forked, somewhat indented, or square-ended. A long tail increases manoeuvrability, and may also function as a sexual adornment, since the tail is frequently longer in males. Female Barn Swallows will select mates on the basis of tail length.

The legs are short, and their feet are designed for perching rather than walking, as the front toes are partially joined at the base, causing the bird to display a waddling gait.

The most common hirundine plumage is glossy dark blue or green above and plain or streaked underparts, often white or rufous. Species which burrow or live in dry or mountainous areas are often unglossed brown above (eg Sand Martin and Crag Martin). The sexes show no, or only limited, sexual dimorphism, with longer outer tail feathers in the adult male probably being the commonest distinction where one exists.

The chicks hatch naked and with closed eyes. Fledged juveniles usually appear as duller versions of the adult.

ralfsworld, kjpweb, Argus, MMM, Luis52 has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To pirate: Hi Tomfalke 1 06-07 12:56
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Critiques [Translate]

Hej Bengt
Swallows are common birds but really beautiful and nice to watch. You did great work here.

So true - nature surpasses our imagination easily and constantly.
Great image - good detail, DOF and colors.! BR Klaus

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2007-06-07 10:48]

Hi Bengt,

I have always thought swallows were beautiful and this one is exceptional. It is posing so perfectly for you showing off the plummage. Beautiful colors - wonderful details - against a perfect background.


  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-06-07 11:42]

Hej Bengt,
Fine sharp capture of a Swallow caught during a blink. Fine BG, Pose, POV and composition.
I like the way the sunlight shows the bluish iridescence on the head, back and wings.
TFS this nice shot,


  • Great 
  • MMM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1114 W: 0 N: 2546] (11425)
  • [2007-06-07 12:28]

Hi Bengt
Hi totaly aggreed with you in regard of those bird.Very nice details in the plumage and beautiful colors.Nice BG and DOF
TFS Michel

Hi Bengt
Great capture indeed. Nice background and great sharpness. The closed nictitating membrane is a tiny little bit disturbing.
Tfs Tom

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2007-06-07 13:30]

Hola Bengt. Nice photo you posted here. I always liked this spices of birds. they fly all over the word. Nice pose and sharpness. I like it. Regards from Mexico. Luis52.

Trčs belles couleurs, mais qu'a-t-il donc ŕ l'oeil, beaux détails.

one of my favourite birds - so gracefull in the air and so beautifull on the ground.

Hard bird to capture but you've a very good job.

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