I have been experimenting with slow shutter speeds for birds in flight over the summer with varying results. I know some people are not keen on ‘blurry’ shots like this and prefer everything to be perfectly sharp to the tips of the wings, but I like the artistic, watercolour wash effect that slow shutter speeds can create; as long as the head is in focus and not blurred.
This common tern photograph was handheld at 1/160 th of a second showing the movement of the birds wings and the falling rain. I tried using various shutter speeds, slower and faster, than used here, but slower speeds make it extremely difficult to pan the camera successfully with such a high speed erratic movement of a bird like this common tern. I found higher shutter speeds made it easier to get the head sharp, but the blurring of the birds wings was not enough for my liking.
Do you like this kind of ‘arty’ bird photography? Please leave a comment with your views.