DPChallenge: A Digital Photography Contest You are not logged in. (log in or register
Challenge Entries
Portfolio Images
Swans & Marsh  Midwinter
Swans & Marsh Midwinter

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Birds II (Advanced Editing VII)
Collection: Challenges
Camera: Canon EOS-20D
Lens: Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0L USM
Location: Harwich Port, MA, USA
Date: Jan 27, 2008
Aperture: f/4.0
ISO: 800
Shutter: 1/250
Date Uploaded: Jan 27, 2008

Handheld at dawn, 200mm, cropped to square using full height of image top to bottom

RAW image processed in Photomatix Pro and Wukong

Export to CS3, two images layered and Wukong image faded, crop, hue/sat, swans masked and brightened with curves, touch of diffuse glow, vignette, resize, high pass sharpening, border, save for web.


This is not a good time for birds anywhere I normally get to, and the weather has been horrible. In any case, I don't feel like doing "portraits" of birds, I never have, even though these typically score best. I like pictures of the birds in their environment. I'd have loved it if one of them had decided to "stand up" and flap his/her wings, but they just sailed serenely down and around the bend out of site, with me tracking them all the way, and this was the prettiest shot I came up with.

This was shot handheld at ISO 800, 1/250 shutter and wide open at f/4.0 and 200mm, just after dawn. Not much light at all, hence the high ISO. I used burst mode, which helped. It's the second image in sequence and it is noticeably sharper than the first one. BG is soft because it is OOF, of course. Focus was on the water between the swans.

Driving into, and out of, the marsh I kept seeing these ducks or whatever they are with like round heads and mohawks, but as soon as I stopped the car and opened the door they beat feet and took off, and I wasn't fast enough to catch them in the act. So swans it is, for better or for worse.

The image, I do like it a lot; but I don't expect it to score very well.

Place: 183 out of 251
Avg (all users): 5.2189
Avg (commenters): 5.8333
Avg (participants): 5.0851
Avg (non-participants): 5.3364
Views since voting: 645
Views during voting: 317
Votes: 201
Comments: 15
Favorites: 0

Please log in or register to add your comments!

02/05/2008 10:58:18 PM
Gorgeous color contrasts between land and water. I don't mind the noise - here it seems to accentuate that early-morning look pretty effectively.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
02/01/2008 02:43:47 PM
Nice colours here but I'm not a fan of the composition. The bright grass is distracting and takes my eyes away from the swans which blend into the water. Maybe a tighter crop would of helped to make the swans more of a focal point.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/01/2008 12:13:51 PM
I really like the layers in the composition of this, it balances very well
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/31/2008 08:49:10 AM
Very noisy, grainy. Otherwise a nice tranquil shot.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/30/2008 09:39:40 PM
nice lines and crispness. Gets very complex down on that water though. Very minor considering the Great things that are going on in the photo with the birds looking at each other, the beautiful field, the great background of trees blurred out to force your eye back to the foreground. Very nice photograph.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/30/2008 03:02:11 PM
Beautimous! Lovely blues in the water offset by the oranges of the marsh - and they look like they're preparing to dance.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/30/2008 01:34:00 PM
I like the scene, but the busy and bright background at the top of the frame is drawing my eye away from the swans.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/30/2008 01:19:06 AM
I like the cool blue contrasted with the warm grasses. Oh, and I'm missing the skiff. ;)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/29/2008 08:08:08 AM
Lovely colours and composition. Is this your's Bear? Are these wild swans?
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/29/2008 01:27:33 AM
The tone mapping kind of makes the swans look dirty but other than that I like the scene you captured. Good Luck Robert.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/28/2008 01:17:46 PM
nice capture here, I like the fact that the banks are in focus and not the trees, it gives oomph. The swans look like they are still juvinials, which is a clever shot as everyone has gone for pure white swans. I like this 9
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/28/2008 07:55:04 AM
Swans are nicely positioned in the frame relative to each other and colors are good. I think I would have cropped out everything above the bank to focus more on the swans and the reflections of the trees, which are very nice.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/28/2008 02:38:30 AM
A little lost in the frame..
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/28/2008 01:54:09 AM
The beautiful scenic colors vie for attention from the swans, still a nice shot
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/28/2008 01:17:00 AM
I don't care for the editing done to this image.
  Photographer found comment helpful.

Home - Challenges - Community - League - Photos - Cameras - Lenses - Learn - Prints! - Help - Terms of Use - Privacy - Top ^
DPChallenge, and website content and design, Copyright © 2001-2021 Challenging Technologies, LLC.
All digital photo copyrights belong to the photographers and may not be used without permission.
Proudly hosted by Sargasso Networks. Current Server Time: 09/22/2021 10:42:46 AM EDT.