Graceful Swan

by Amy Meszaros

I was hoping to capture some exciting moments while the swans were swimming in a pond, and I think I got a great outcome.

Wildlife photography can be a worthwhile area of photography, and as Amy’s photo shows, you don’t have to sit in a hide for days to get a good shot!

Swans are graceful birds, at least on the surface. Underneath that gracefulness their legs are going like mad! And at this point I am slightly bemused, as I’m not too sure what Amy’s ‘exiting moments’ were. To me at least, swans = graceful.

I’m going off at a tangent a little here, so let’s get back to the photography. Technically this is a very good photo. The swan is in nice clear focus, and Amy has zoomed in close to fill the frame.

She has also captured the swan at a good angle, and in a nice pose.

A good angle, because the swan has its head side-on to the camera. Birds for some reason always seem to look better when they are not ‘facing’ the camera head-on.

And a good pose – it has its wings slightly open which has made for an appealing look.

There are only a couple of areas where this good photo could be ‘upgraded’ to a great photo. My first thoughts on improvement would be the swan’s neck and face. They seem . . . how can I put this . . . rather dirty, especially compared to the brilliant white of the wings.

My guess is that this photo was taken fairly late in the day (which is a good thing), but I can’t help but wonder if that swan was about to change direction, and turn its head and neck into the sun. If it had, we would have gotten a whiter head and neck.

Now, it may well be that this swan was just dirty, or maybe still has some cygnet feathers still in its plumage (their cygnet feathers are darker than their adult feathers).

I wonder if Amy has some other photos on her memory card where the light was more favourable?

There is a software solution that will go some way towards rectifying this – it’s the shadow/highlight filter. Apply this, and it should lift the darkness a touch.

Other than that, my only other suggestion is not related to this photo itself, but is more of an idea for another shot. See the hint of reflection at the bottom of the photo? What if we had a full reflection of the swan? It could add an extra element to the whole image.

Just a few thoughts and suggestions, and thanks Amy for your submission,


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Feb 27, 2008
I love it
by: Anonymous

I love it.

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