When selecting photos for puncta lucis, I usually try to adhere to a list of standards that include sharpness, proper exposure, composition, creativity and more. Every once in a while, I select a photo that simply pleases me, even though it may not meet the full list of my self-imposed standards.
This photo could be sharper, and fails to meet other standards, but I was pleased enough with its composition that I decided to post it anyway. I hope that I’ve made the right choice and that you enjoy this photo as much as I do. As you may have noticed, photographing birds against a blue background is one of the goals I set for myself when I set out with my camera.
On an early-summer afternoon, next to a lake at a nature reserve in the Minneapolis metro area, this hungry juvenile barn swallow (Hirundo rustica) opened wide in anticipation every time an adult flew within 100 feet of its perch.
Many times, the adults would pass by with nothing, skimming and swooping over the shallow lake in a constant search for flying insects. After they passed, the juvenile bird would close its beak and scan the horizon, waiting and watching. Occasionally, its parent would drop off a damselfly.
This sequence of 4 photos shows a barn swallow delivering lunch (a damselfly) to one of its brood. The young ones were noticeably aware of the incoming deliveries long before I could see the adult approaching. Their change in behavior and visible excitement provided a clue as to when to begin composing the shot and snapping the shutter. Click here to see the whole sequence