Swans in the sun

“It’s such a beautiful day, I think I’ll walk.” Actually, I went to the canal to feed the swans. I took my camera, to practice taking photos without looking through the viewfinder.

As I was trying to take a photo of a swan taking bread out of my hand, a man walked past with two small dogs. Here is one. Behind are some other people enjoying the sun, and behind them is a hospital.
As I was trying to take a photo of a swan taking bread out of my hand, a man walked past with two small dogs. Here is one. Behind are some other people enjoying the sun, and behind them is a hospital.

A swan pulling bread from my hand. Taking photos directly into the sun is quite tricky. For all these photos, to stop too much of the swans being “blown out” white, I turned the exposure compensation down a notch.
A swan pulling bread from my hand. Taking photos directly into the sun is quite tricky. For all these photos, to stop too much of the swans being

Aiming a 50mm lens without looking through the viewfinder is really tricky, but I got some good shots. I decided to process them to look like greetings cards.
Aiming a 50mm lens without looking through the viewfinder is really tricky, but I got some good shots. I decided to process them to look like greetings cards.

Increasing exposure? Check. Boosting vibrance and saturation? Check. Decreasing clarity? Check. Over the top vignetting? Check!
Increasing exposure? Check. Boosting vibrance and saturation? Check. Decreasing clarity? Check. Over the top vignetting? Check!

This one is taken without holding the camera five centimeters from the water.
This one is taken without holding the camera five centimeters from the water.

This one is my favorite.
This one is my favorite.

I discovered a great way to know if the swan is in the center of the frame. I looked at the automatic shutter speed readout on the LCD. When it read “1/600” I knew it was pointing at something dark, like the water or trees. When it said “1/3200” I knew it was pointing at something bright, like a swan in the sunlight. I’m going to use this trick in the future if the subject the right contrast.

Also, I discovered that ND filters would be a really cool tool for photographing anything in weather like today, using a 50mm prime lens. That’s a project and a lesson for another day.


One comment to this article

  1. dad

    on 2010/06/17 at 23:03 -

    Lovely….(Send a postcard to Granny. )

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