Post #478

Swallows and Frogs

5th August 2004, evening time | Comments (23)

I let the dog out for a poo this afternoon, and thought I’d try to photograph the Swallows that were swooping and diving around the garden while I was there. They really are amazingly fast, and it really is amazingly difficult to get a decent picture, but I tried my best. Hopefully you’ll get some idea of what a Swallow looks like (if you don’t know already).

A bit later on Mum came and asked if I wanted to photograph a frog that was hiding in her courgette plants. She held back the leaves so I could get a clear view and together we managed to get some decent pictures. Eventually I pushed my luck a little too far and the frog hopped off under thicker cover.

(I’ve included some black and white versions of the photos, because I think they look quite interesting.)

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Comments (23)

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  1. Clay:

    The bottom-left swallow photo is very cool. Very, very cool. I'm not sure I like the B&Ws. They seem to lose a little detail.

    Posted 6 minutes after the fact
  2. Colin D. Devroe:

    Swallows have some extraordinary flight abilities. We have them in our and I wouldn't even try to photograph them. Well done.

    Posted 14 minutes after the fact
  3. Nicole:

    It's pretty impressive that you managed to catch the swallow from below. Very nice photo.

    Posted 15 minutes after the fact
  4. Rob Mientjes:

    The chicks ready to fly look almost posed! Nice compositions. And the frog is cool. Ubercool. 'Not so common after all...'

    Posted 42 minutes after the fact
  5. David:

    What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

    Posted 43 minutes after the fact
    Inspired: ↓ Dunstan, ↓ Rob Mientjes
  6. Dunstan:


    Very good question though, I can't believe I didn't think to slip that in somewhere :o)

    Posted 53 minutes after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ David
    Inspired: ↓ Jeff
  7. Rob Mientjes:

    What do you mean? An African or a European swallow?

    Sorry Dunstan - back on topic!

    Posted 54 minutes after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ David
  8. Peter:

    I love swallows, they seem so full of joy and fun! I was watching some the other day and they fly for ages and never seem to come down. I got 'buzzed' by some of them now and then - almost like they were playing with me. Well done for getting those photos!

    Posted 1 hour, 6 minutes after the fact
  9. Jeff:

    I remember that site... great stuff :D

    and those photos are amazing, nice job on all of the birds... I like the color frogs too, nice and bright

    Posted 1 hour, 43 minutes after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Dunstan
  10. Turnip:

    Dunstan, I'm pretty sure that frog is a toad ;) But nice pics.

    Posted 2 hours, 56 minutes after the fact
    Inspired: ↓ Dunstan, ↓ Richard
  11. Dunstan:

    Turnip, it is a frog, it's a Common Garden Frog, we have them all the time in our garden, and we even compared his markings to those in our Frog Book.

    All the evidence says he's a frog :o)

    Posted 3 hours, 30 minutes after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Turnip
    Inspired: ↓ Turnip, ↓ Richard
  12. Turnip:

    I'll take it from you then ;)

    Reason that I said it was a toad, is because I was pulling up weeds for my parents a few weeks back and I saw one very similar, and my Dad said that it was a toad.

    So then when you posted that, I thought, "I'm sure that's a toad." So I went and looked here:

    and it said that frogs usually stay near water, have wetter skin etc... so I thought it was a toad.

    That's my evidence, but you have a frog book, so I can't match the power of a frog book ;). My Dad was probably wrong anyway, he usually just likes to pretend he knows about things.

    BTW I love your blog. Did you make it from scratch or base it on an existing CMS?

    Posted 3 hours, 37 minutes after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Dunstan
    Inspired: ↓ Chris Clark
  13. Chris Clark:

    taken from
    One of the most common questions is, "What is the difference between Frogs and Toads?"
    Most are surprised to hear that all Toads actually are Frogs!

    Posted 4 hours, 6 minutes after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Turnip
  14. Richard:

    Great stuff, Dunstan, as usual. You can almost hear their jet engines :-)

    And Turnip: toads aren't frogs, and frogs aren't toads. Frogs and toads are both in the order Anura, which means they're amphibians without tails.

    And Dunstan's picture is of a <em>frog</em>.

    Posted 5 hours, 11 minutes after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Turnip, ↑ Dunstan
    Inspired: ↓ Turnip
  15. Isaac Schlueter:

    Bullfrog? 'at's a funny name. I'd'a called it a Chuzzlewuzzer.

    Posted 10 hours, 22 minutes after the fact
  16. Sophie:

    Amazing swallow photos !

    I love these birds (both them and the bigger swifts, it is always a joy to hear them whistle in the air for the first time in the season. You know summer will come again this year, and you'll be able to watch their acrobatics following insects).

    Here I've found that the Rennes town hall has a very sculpted facade, with barocco faces, ribbons and such, and the swallows have added their nests to the sculptures in a very nice and discreet way.

    So... just checking... how many swallows shots did you take to get the ones you posted ?

    Posted 13 hours, 50 minutes after the fact
  17. Turnip:

    I knew that they weren't the same Richard, it was Chris Clark that said that. I just said that I thought it was a toad, I stand corrected ;).

    Posted 15 hours, 2 minutes after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Richard
    Inspired: ↓ Richard
  18. Richard:

    Yeah, I noticed that as soon as I'd posted... sorry :-/

    Toads, frogs... nevermind, eh? :-)

    Posted 17 hours, 45 minutes after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Turnip
    Inspired: ↓ Turnip
  19. Turnip:

    Yeah, whether it's a toad or a frog, they're nice photos :)

    Posted 17 hours, 56 minutes after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Richard
  20. Paul Griffin:

    Oh, very nice. The frog reminds me of some pictures I took last month:

    On a side note, Dunstan, since comments that you author come up as '#0', it's a bit strange to see that this post has 19 comments, but then see that the last comment is #17. I had to go back and check, because I thought I might be losing it...

    Posted 18 hours, 28 minutes after the fact
  21. Matt:

    How did you get that picture of the swallow?!

    Posted 1 week, 5 days after the fact
  22. Milo2020:

    Did you get any photos of your dog doing a poo? What a missed opportunity.

    (your site looks cool by the way)

    Posted 2 weeks, 5 days after the fact
  23. Marschant:

    Swallows are suuuuupa tricky to photograph. I'm also shooting with the 10D but had to resort to a 70-300 tamron 5.6 for the job.

    The only decent shot I managed to get can be seen here:

    Regarding the frogs in B&W I would've tried some separation using a channel mixer adj layer pushing more red or blue.

    I find there isn't enough contrast between the frog and the leaves.

    Posted 2 weeks, 6 days after the fact

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