In flight bird photography is a pursuit unto itself. Any aspect of bird photography and strategy for getting better photos can be applied to in flight bird photography, although a slight twist may be warranted in some cases. Here are a few photos illustrating some of these aspects.
Sometimes its all you can do just to keep the bird in your viewfinder, but don’t forget to keep an eye out for unique moments, like a funny facial expression.
Lighting considerations are still important even when a bird is flying, although the direction of the light in relation to you and the bird might be changing quickly.
There are plenty of nice backgrounds besides blue sky, and the lower the bird is flying the more likely you are to be working with a different background.
Sometimes the bird is just a detail in a more expansive photo.
A group of birds in flight has all the challenges of photographing a flock piled on top of all the challenges of photographing a bird on the wing. Still, flight and social behavior are important qualities of many birds and should be captured.
As with birds at rest, a pleasing arrangement of birds can give structure to group shots.
Portrait orientation of flying bird photos is probably less common in general, but it can be useful. Cropping out parts of the bird, on accident or on purpose, can also be acceptable and help the bird fill the frame.
Distracting backgrounds can ruin an otherwise interesting photo. Of course, when the photo features a frigate scavenging a rotting tilapia carcass, perhaps the urban background is also telling a story.