This doesn’t happen often. Not even close. Birds – any birds – at full frame are an incredible opportunity. This is a juvenile Tree Swallow, perched on a fence at Archbald Regional Park. And I’m not sure if it’s because he’s a juvenile, or because Tree Swallows are pretty tolerant in general, but he let me slowly work my way in to the point where I was able to shoot this image at 300mm with no cropping needed.
I started off about 15 feet away and began to move in three steps at a time. I kept the camera in front of my face to help break up my profile and hide my eyes. Three steps, stop, and shoot off several frames (with flash) and then another three steps. Rinse, lather, and repeat. I ended up tossing the first several sets because the later ones were so much closer. And closer is better.
Not only in terms of relative subject size, but also lens performance. At the start of the series, you could still make out the blurred forms of trees and a line of fencing in the background; by this point it’s just an entirely out-of-focus wash of green. And I like that.