I was busy photographing the Oyster sheds at La Baudissier when I noticed a Barn Swallow shooting in and out of a gap in one of the sheds, presumably feeding some nestlings. Up for a challenge I thought this might be a good opportunity to once again test out the 6K functionality of the G9.
The longest lens I had with me was my Panasonic 35-100mm f/2.8 so that would have to do. It was clear that the speed of the Swallow meant that there was no way the G9 would be able to auto-focus on the bird so instead I pre-focussed on the shed to the side of the gap and hoped that as the bird flew through the plane of focus at least one frame would be in focus.
I shot wide open at f/2.8 at 100mm and with the iso upped to 800 so as to give a very fast shutter speed of 1/4000s. The G9 was set to 6K pre mode thus giving 30 frames pre shutter release and 30 after, it was then just a case of waiting for the Swallow to fly into the shed and out again. I opted for 6K mode as opposed to pre SH1/2 because I wanted the full 1 second of pre-capture and because I did not need auto-focus, in retrospect I think pre SH2 would have worked just as well and with the higher frame rate may have given more frames in focus.
Whilst the results are not perfect they are pretty decent and this is certainly the only way that such images could be captured – I could not have achieved these results with my DSLR.
On the way in the Swallow was flying very quickly so even at a frame rate of 30 per second only 1 image was sharp.
On the way out the Swallow has had less time to pick up speed so is travelling more slowly so this technique yielded two sharp images.
As always click on the images to see them larger.
yes, you couldn’t have done this without pre-burst. thanks for the interesting lecture. very helpful. I tried the same with a much slower Seegull, ready for take-off. and it worked beautifully.