Little Swift Apus affinis. Rajkot, Gujarat, India. Photographer: Yashodhan Bhatia, India. Category Best Portrait. HONOURABLE MENTION. Photographer’s Story: ‘Those small dark profiles, flying with super-fast manoeuvres in the sky, are swifts or swallows. Identifying them is a challenge unless you have a good look at them. Of course they do differ, only slightly in size or in details of plumage. All of them are adapted for high speed flight, thanks to slender, streamlined bodies, short necks, long pointed wings and small beaks. These all adaptations are for hunting insects in mid-air at breakneck speeds. I found a small colony of Little Swifts under a bridge on a state highway and thought of spending time with them to get some unusual perspectives. It took me four sessions in two days and numerous pictures to get the desired result. I was amazed at how these tiny birds have truly mastered flight. While gliding, they continually change the shape of their wings, albeit very subtly, and optimize their aerodynamic performance to control lift, thrust, drag and what not.’ Nikon D5 with Nikon 500mm f/4 FL ED VR lens. 500mm focal length; 1/3,200 second; f/5.6; ISO 640. Handheld.

转载自《Bird Photographer of the Year 2019 Winners》