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Swan on Ellesmere

By sanchopanther
Walking around the mere taking photos of my children when the cloud rolled back and we were bathed in bright, late October sunshine and the swan glided into view from behind a clump of weeds. I know I should have taken more care to avoid the burn out on the swan's body - something I hope I can learn to correct in Photoshop someday. I'd really appreciate your comments, advice and criticisms as although I enjoy photography enormously I have so much to learn.

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.


saeidNL 6 3 Netherlands
4 Jan 2012 10:52PM
Lovely capture with beautiful reflection,

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Davesumner 9 28 300 Australia
4 Jan 2012 11:22PM
Hi Clayton,

Welcome to EPZ and the Critique Gallery.

Nice capture here, lovely colours on the water with a great reflection and the composition, focus and expose are all pretty good. You are right about a little bit of overexposure but given that it is sunny and the bird is white, you haven't done bad at all and there is still detail in the feathers.

There isn't a lot you can do to improve on this shot but you could consider the following. The shot could benefit from being landscape instead of in portrait and the bird could do with a little more space to swim into on the left. Also you could try and get some details back inro the feathers using whatever program you edit your shots in and whilst there, lighten up the neck area a little. Apart from that, the shot is pretty good.

I have uploaded a mod where I have cropped the shot and added some canvas to the left side then lightned the neck and added detail to the feathers.

Hope this helps

paulbroad 9 116 1064 United Kingdom
5 Jan 2012 8:44AM
A decent shot of a fine bird, well composed. There is a little burn out but you will find it difficult to correct in any software. You can clone areas and get away with it, but you cannot burn back in what has burnt out - the detail is not in the file. Don't know if your camera can shoot in RAW, doubt it - but that is why many shoot in RAW as there is a chance to save detail - sometimes. (I only use RAW on jobs and for occasional special shots - processing time for a few thousand images can be enormous!)

Better to reduce taking exposure, which you can do. Dial in about - 1 stop compensation - then learn how to lighten shadows in software. Much more likely to succeed.

ZakBlack 9 105 14 England
5 Jan 2012 10:46AM
Good capture. I wouldn't worry about the burnt out area at the back, sometimes it can't be helped. The important thing is you noticed the shot and the exposure of the more important bits is good.
Dave has mentioned the crop and his mod has improved the image, it was a good point to mention leaving some area to the left for the swan to swim into.
Looking closely at the image I can see white spots at intervals, don't know what they are but they can be cloned or cleaned up in software...well done

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