It’s spring, and the swallows have returned to Capistrano. At least, I suppose they have. They’ve certainly returned to Irvine.

Swallows are hard birds to photograph! They might even be worse than those damn honeybees. They never get very close, they’re really fast, and they change direction constantly. Not only does that make them hard to follow, but even on the rare occasions when I manage to follow one for a second or two, the autofocus still needs at least a little time to lock on before the bird decides to pull a 180 and disappear. That doesn’t happen very often.

But it does once in a while. I’ve been experimenting with triptychs lately, and it works nicely with the swallows for two reasons. First, the color of the water changes depending on time of day and whether I’m shooting into or away from the sun. It’s kind of striking to see the different colors all in one place. Second, the individual photos are smaller than usual, which lets me hide the fact that they aren’t completely sharp. Except for the top one, which is really good. And the timing is really nice on the bottom one. The middle one is kind of meh, though.

May 2, 2018 — Irvine, California

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Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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