Mute Swan In Flight At 60 FPS

This article features a series of 12 photographs of a mute swan in flight at 60 fps. After doing some experimentation last year, using this frame rate has become one of my favourite settings for bird photography.

This run of images is the result of being in the right place at the right time… and having camera gear ‘at the ready’.

I was at LaSalle Park walking along the cement pier when a mute swan began to take flight. Knowing that my Nikon 1 V3 was set for 60 frames-per-second I panned with the bird as it approached me (the first frame locks focus and exposure when shooting at 60 FPS). When it was adjacent to me and flying at roughly a 90-degree angle to my position I pressed my shutter release and rattled off my image run. Using this shooting angle helps ensure all images from the run will be in focus.

What follows are 12 consecutive images shown as full frame captures without any cropping done to them.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 74 mm, efov 199.8 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250, ISO-360
Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 74 mm, efov 199.8 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250, ISO-360
Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 74 mm, efov 199.8 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250, ISO-360
Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 74 mm, efov 199.8 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250, ISO-360
Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 74 mm, efov 199.8 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250, ISO-360
Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 74 mm, efov 199.8 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250, ISO-360 (this is my favourite image shown in this article)
Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 74 mm, efov 199.8 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250, ISO-360
Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 74 mm, efov 199.8 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250, ISO-360
Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 74 mm, efov 199.8 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250, ISO-360
Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 74 mm, efov 199.8 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250, ISO-360
Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 74 mm, efov 199.8 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250, ISO-360
Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 74 mm, efov 199.8 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250, ISO-360

These 12 images of a mute swan at 60 fps were captured in 1/5 of a second in total.

As camera technology keeps on advancing, more and more cameras offer owners the option to shoot at fast frame rates. Some of these frame rates (like 30 fps and 60 fps on my Nikon 1 gear) lock auto-focus and exposure based on the first image in the run. Some photographers shy away from using fast frames rates because of this fact.

When I first purchased my Nikon 1 gear in late 2013 I felt the same way. After some experimentation I discovered that using these fast frame rates can help capture some unique images. If your camera has the option to shoot at some fast frame rates and you haven’t tried them yet… I would encourage you to grab your camera and give it a try. You may discover another way to have some fun!

Technical Note:
All images were captured hand-held using camera gear as per the EXIF data noted in the article. All images in this article were produced from RAW files using my standard process of DxO PhotoLab, CS6 and the Nik Collection.

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