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Black Swan

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This swan is standing on the edge of the pond. I was only trying to get get the swan.

This is my second attempt at wildlife photography, I'm trying to record the animals of Australia before I leave and practice an area of photography I have no experience with. Last week kangaroos, this week black swans.

All C&C welcome / encouraged.

(before you say it - I know the foot is out of focus, I did ask her to put it back down but she just wasn't interested!)

Brand:NIKON CORPORATION
Camera:Nikon D90 Check out Nikon Nation!
Lens:18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-6.3
Recording media:JPEG (digital)
Date Taken:26 Nov 2012 - 6:25 PM
Focal Length:102mm
Lens Max Aperture:f/5.6
Aperture:f/5.6
Shutter Speed:1/125sec
Exposure Comp:0.0
ISO:800
Exposure Mode:Manual
Metering Mode:Multi-segment
White Balance:Custom
Title:Black Swan
Username:onetrickpony onetrickpony
Uploaded:26 Nov 2012 - 10:03 AM
Tags:Landscape / travel, Wildlife / nature
VS Mode Rating 99 (33.33% won)
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Comments

This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.
Ade_Osman
Ade_Osman e2 Member 114521 forum postsAde_Osman vcard England36 Constructive Critique Points
26 Nov 2012 - 10:12 AMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

It's not a Black Swan it's a dirty duck as we call them here Tongue

Seriously, it fills the frame too much and of course you've chopped it's leg off! You just needed to have walked back a little or widened the zoom somewhat, it would have looked a lot better had you composed the image so the whole bird was in the frame and the head/neck was in the centre, sometimes the closer you get to your subject is not always the best. But as a second attempt at wildlife photography, I've seen a lot worse.......Keep at it and it will come I assure you.

Have a look at Lee Fishers work and you'll see what I mean.

Ade

Last Modified By Ade_Osman at 26 Nov 2012 - 10:15 AM

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Hermanus
Hermanus  2 South Africa
26 Nov 2012 - 10:59 AM

What a great photo you have here !! Great detail on the black - or is it dirt Smile Stunning photo

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onetrickpony
26 Nov 2012 - 12:09 PM

Thanks Ade, that's really helpful. Also - what about the lighting? I took this on a day with thick cloud cover, I thought it would be a good choice for something like this, but should I have waited for a sunny day? Or the end of a sunny day when the sun was setting?

Lee Fisher's portfolio is incredible. Maybe one day!

plus - thanks for some kind words Hermanus, much appreciated.

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iancrowson
iancrowson e2 Member 4211 forum postsiancrowson vcard United Kingdom129 Constructive Critique Points
26 Nov 2012 - 12:33 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

Good photo. Nice and sharp. Details showing though out the dark areas. Background out of focus which is good as it help the eye focus on the swan. Nice reflections of grasses. Good colour
The image is cropped/framed too tightly. The white blob should cloud away. As above all the leg showing if possible.
Actually for this type of shot a dull day can be better, bright sun make contrasty light with hard shadows/ burnt highlights. Soft evening light can be good.
regards
Ian

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onetrickpony
26 Nov 2012 - 12:42 PM


Quote: Actually for this type of shot a dull day can be better, bright sun make contrasty light with hard shadows/ burnt highlights.

Thanks, that's what I imagined would be the case - soft lighting better, but I thought I'd check. I'd try again in evening light but I think the area is too shadowy and a good capture wouldn't be possible. But good to know for next time.

Maybe I'll reshoot the background sometime when the water doesn't look so grey and to a sneaky photoshop swap, though Smile But nothing is gonna be able to reframe the image (it wasn't cropped :-( ).

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banehawi
banehawi Critique Team 10901 forum postsbanehawi vcard Canada2897 Constructive Critique Points
26 Nov 2012 - 2:22 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

Good advice from Ade and Ian. heres some more. You can also zoom in more, and take a head only shot for example; or you can cut the Swans leg off, - in Photoshop, so its swimming in the water. Needs a bit of trickery, but it can work.


The detail in the swan is very good, - you rarely get good black swan shots like this. The thick cloud cover helped you with this I think. Most shots would overexpose without intervention, but this is actually underexposed, and you may have had that white blob to help you also.

Ive uploaded a mod to show one example of possibilities, and Ive tweaked contrast, and placed a small catchlight in his eye. More space added also. I cloned out the leg, then used the marquee tool to select the water, copied and pasted it higher, applied pond ripples, and tweaked a little.



Regards



Willie

Last Modified By banehawi at 26 Nov 2012 - 2:24 PM

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banehawi
banehawi Critique Team 10901 forum postsbanehawi vcard Canada2897 Constructive Critique Points
26 Nov 2012 - 5:55 PM

Had another idea, - extend the water down, and have the swan standing in the water with just the partial leg visible. Mod2 loaded.

W

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pamelajean
pamelajean Critique Team 8799 forum postspamelajean vcard United Kingdom1612 Constructive Critique Points
26 Nov 2012 - 6:30 PM

Very nice, Jonny, and I've nothing further to add to the above, but just wanted to say that I think Willie's modifications are both brilliant.
Pamela.

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paulbroad
paulbroad  781 forum posts United Kingdom859 Constructive Critique Points
26 Nov 2012 - 7:14 PM

You needed to be closer, or further away, but you cannot cut off a leg like that. The lighting and quality are good and you can crop this much closer but cannot, obviously, add the leg. One of my criteria is, if in doubt, fill the frame so, unless you must have the whole bird, get in close.

Paul

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banehawi
banehawi Critique Team 10901 forum postsbanehawi vcard Canada2897 Constructive Critique Points
26 Nov 2012 - 9:54 PM

Thanks Pamela


Willie

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onetrickpony
28 Nov 2012 - 4:03 AM

Thanks all again.

Specifically - Thanks Willie for some great mods. It really helped me see what I should have aimed for.

And thanks to everyone for helping me to see the problems with composition and the strengths in terms of exposure/lighting.

Cheers guys.

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