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In with a splash.

By 4ndy5
I am 90% happy with this image but wanting to know how I could of got the rear of the Swan in clear focus aswell? Any help and advice please?

Tags: Water Swan Lake Wildlife and nature



dudler Plus
19 2.1k 2018 England
27 Oct 2022 8:01AM
Welcome to Ephotozine, Andy, and particularly to the Critique Gallery.

You've asked a very specific question, which is helpful, and we need a bit more information to answer properly. The site asks for full EXIF data - this is embedded in the picture - unless you 'save for web' or upload via a third party website.

It's clearly not motion blur, because your shutter speed (whatever it was) froze the water splash in an interesting way.

The other obvious cause of unsharpness is lack of focus, and it looks as if you used a wide aperture, so that's feasible. Focus appears to be on the swan's eye (which is good) but if you used a wide aperture to allow the fast shutter speed, depth of field (front to back sharpness) is always limited.

Aesthetically, framing is a bit tight - ideally, you'd have all of the swan and the splash in the frame. One way to resolve things is to crop further, so that the tail is not in the image - I shall try a modification. Click on the blue box below and to the left of the image, then the numbers to see mods.

And please come back with more data, which you can put in a comment, or add to the narrative at the top. Also, your reaction to this and any other comments is helpful to us - are we providing the most helpful comments we can?
4ndy5 3
27 Oct 2022 8:13AM
Thankyou for your reply, how do I get the full EXIF data to add? I am fairly new to photography and only been shooting about 3/4months.
Learning all about the correct shutter speed, aperature and even framing is all a slow learning curve for me so again, thankyou for abit more indepth explanation on those.
chase Plus
17 2.5k 676 England
27 Oct 2022 10:24AM
Hi Andy and welcome.
I suspect you have used 'save for web' which will remove your exif data. That method is not needed on ePz as you can upload a good sized image and the site will use it's clever stuff to resize automatically.

Try this to retrieve your exif..
On a Windows PC using File Explorer right-click on the file you want to see the data for. You will see a window pop up with various options. Click on Properties and then on Details. This will bring up the EXIF data for that photo.
You can also see it on the back of your camera in most cases.

I do like the splashes the Swan has made, so your shutter speed looks fairly high.
It would have been nice to see the tail end of the Swan to complete the picture but Johns idea of a crop from the left is good.
The whites are a little over exposed but, without the exif we can't really tell you why.
Some chromic aberration can be seen, look at the head and neck of the Swan, do you see a slight red/magenta outline ?

What processing software do you have ?
I will try a mod, probably very similar to the first one from John.
4ndy5 3
27 Oct 2022 10:31AM
Hi chase and thankyou for your reply, since taking the picture the only thing I have done is send it to my phone via 'canon connect' app. I have tried looking on several images on my camera and the only details I can see is my iso, can't find the shutter speed, f stop or focal length the image was taken with 😔
I can see the aberration now you have said but I didn't notice it with my untrained eye.
Thankyou again for the feedback and I will keep trying to find the EXIF for the image.
chase Plus
17 2.5k 676 England
27 Oct 2022 10:42AM
Thanks for the reply Andy.
So you uploaded this from your phone ? that could be the reason the exif has stripped.
If you still have the image on your camera, you should be able to see it there, check the manual to try and find out how to view it, sorry, Im not familiar with the camera so can't help more.
I did a mod...
Cropped from the left
Attempted to help with the over exposure on the back and head of the Swan, I use Photoshop so it will depend on any software/ computer equipment you use to what extent you can process your images.
Removed the aberration using the hue/saturation facility within Photoshop.
Brightened up generally.
Tried a little sharpening just on the head and water splashes.
Added a frame.

Keep going, it is a steep curve but you will get used to your camera as you go along.
Feel free to post here as you go, we do give good, honest critique and the more you tell us, the better we can try to help.
4ndy5 3
27 Oct 2022 10:50AM
Thankyou, I love the mods you've made and the picture just feels to me now, how it should.
I have checked on the camera on this image and the other images but the only EXIF data I can see is the iso for some reason, currently without a desktop at the moment aswell so I can't even try that way but I will keep scrolling through Google for the answers.
Thankyou again for the feedback and the mod 👍
chase Plus
17 2.5k 676 England
27 Oct 2022 11:06AM
Try here
Its a youtube link.
banehawi Plus
19 2.9k 4354 Canada
27 Oct 2022 5:11PM
Yes, please add the missing information in a reply.

Ive added mod 3 with just the front of the swan. I seems overexposed, not well focused, and perhaps shutter too slow.

Include the time of day, you might have light entering the lens also.


4ndy5 3
27 Oct 2022 5:31PM
Thankyou for your reply, the time of day is information I can source and it was 13:26 but the sun was behind me, as a rule, I usually have my shutter speed ranging between 1/500- 1/1000 unless I'm trying to photograph small birds in flight, until I can find the full information, I would have to hazard a guess that the lens was set ranging between 75-80mm (as the Swan was fairly close to me and this was the lens I had equipped at the time) but that would be a guess and obviously not accurate.
I will keep trying to get the exact EXIF and add that into a comment but again, thankyou for the feedback, it gives me more things to be observant over when taking the pictures instead of just quickly grabbing the camera and hoping for the best.
pamelajean Plus
17 1.8k 2289 United Kingdom
27 Oct 2022 7:13PM
Hello, Andy, welcome to the site and its Critique Gallery.

One of your comments suggests that you don't have your pictures on a computer. If and perhaps when you do, just right click on the image, click on Properties, and then Details.

It isn't always necessary to have everything in your picture in focus. In fact, it is acceptable to have some of an image out of focus, it's a creative way of doing photography and can look very nice, as long as you have good focus somethere, preferably on the eyes or head if it's an animal, insect or a human, etc.

Also, if you are going to take a shot of an animal, like your swan, you do need to try to get all of it inside your frame or, alternatively, a smaller part of it, as has been demonstrated in the modifications. Just missing off a small part (like the back of the swan) will always look like a mistake. Cropping it as in the mods makes it look intentional.

Swans, being white, are notoriously difficult to photograph without burning out their feathers. Shoot at the beginning or the end of the day, when the sun is less strong or, better still, when it's cloudy or overcast.

To get more of an image in focus, which is what you were asking about, you need a smaller/narrower aperture, which will give you a larger depth of field (that part of the picture that is in focus). This is achieved by using a higher f-number. I know this seems counter-intuitive, but it's something you need to get your head around.
Large aperture, small f-number, shallow depth of field, only part of the image will be in focus.
Small aperture, large f-number, wider depth of field, more of the image will be in focus.

Aperture is where a lot of the magic happens in photography.

I do like this image, especially the water displacement.

I hope we have been of some help.

4ndy5 3
27 Oct 2022 8:07PM
Thankyou so much Pamela. Yes the aperature is definitely the most confusing thing for me when it comes to photography but hopefully, in time (and 1000s of pictures later) I will eventually grasp it.
No unfortunately haven't got a desktop and my laptop decided to go pop when I wanted to upload the pictures and try to navigate LR.
Again, thankyou so much for you help, everyone that has commented, you have all been really inspirational and gave me some brilliant guidance.
dudler Plus
19 2.1k 2018 England
28 Oct 2022 5:32AM
Aperture is confusing - especially when you find that 'stop down' means 'set the number HIGHER'!

A smaller aperture (higher number, because the number is the size of the hole as a fraction of the focal length - so at f/8, the hole is one eighth of the focal length. As the focal length is called 'f' in physics, f/8 is actually logical!) will give more front to back sharpness, and need a slower shutter speed.

There are other considerations, but that's the start of the journey...
4ndy5 3
28 Oct 2022 6:30AM
Once again, knowledgeable advice.
You're all amazing 👍

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