Back Modifications (1)
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By Lou_C  
When I try to photograph swans they either come out brilliant white with no feather detail, or I under expose usually to about -1.7ev and get the detail but the rest of the photo, particularly the water is too dark.

Apart from adjusting the exposure, what other ways can I get a decent picture of a swan?

Tags: Wildlife and nature

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


zagpuss 10 4 2 England
14 May 2008 3:05PM
Think you need to experiment with filters on your lens -they can help. Also vary the AV number - f11 or f16 is useful for getting the right depth of field to improve sharpness. A good catchlight in the swan's eye will also bring it to life more.

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User_Removed 10 78 1 United Kingdom
14 May 2008 5:52PM
Hello Lucy This is a nice image of a swan ... what I would try is first get the other side of the swan .. you are exposing the shadow side of the swan all the light is on his other side .. -1.7 Ev is good ( +ev for a black swan ).. try and get a lower and turn the camera to portrait, this way you will gain reflections. as for colour of local pond the water is what you get according to the clouds and if weather has stired it up.. This image could have a bit cropped of the RHS .. Hope this helps

Lou_C 11 755 2 England
14 May 2008 6:11PM
Thanks both, I never really noticed the eye, I was too busy looking at feathers but it does look rather dead without a catchlight.

Good point about being on the wrong side of the swan and turning the camera to portrait. Thats something I often forget about and come home with 99% of my photos in landscape
IanA 14 3.0k 12 England
15 May 2008 8:15PM

Quote:Thats something I often forget about and come home with 99% of my photos in landscape

You should be aiming much nearer 50/50!

If you can fill the frame more with the swan you will have far less exposure problems. And try to vary the focus point. This is obviously focussed on the central point and it therefore looks as though the swan is swimming out of the frame. If you had used the right side focus point, the bird would be to the right of centre and then moving into the frame.
By doing this, you avoid having to crop in post production and retain the full quality of the sensor.

With all birds in/on the water, I'm afraid you are going to have to get down and muddy! The nearer to water level you are, the better image you will get.


Lou_C 11 755 2 England
15 May 2008 9:00PM
Thanks Ian, thats another thing I've never really done, I've always used the central point. I shall try and remember that next time.

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