Swans at Sunrise – How We Shot It

Here’s a great example of two things: serendipity, and very fast lens changing!  Just like how yesterday’s “photo of the day” was a great example of not seeing the forest for the trees, today’s photo of the day is all about knowing when to zoom in on a single subject even if the wide angle scene is catching your eye.

The Photo

 DSC_4858--20x30_180-XL-2(Click here for a larger image!)

The Equipment and Settings

The Shooting Conditions

This was one of those lucky shots.  I went out to photograph the sunrise, and I was already pretty happy about the beautiful colors in the sky when two swans glided into my frame.  I snapped this image:

DSC_4852

Then, as I saw the swans approach an extra-golden patch of sunrise reflection, I knew I had to zoom in and see if I could capture a a close up shot.  I literally had 60 seconds to take off my backpack, unzip it, grab and swap my wide angle lens for my telephoto lens, and frame / click the shot.  I didn’t even have time to open up my aperture, apparently, otherwise I would have of course preferred to shoot this photo wide open at f/2.8 or f/4, not f/11.  But I had a tripod so I managed the 1/60 sec. exposure on a 150mm lens just fine.  :-)

So, when you’re out there shooting your favorite subject, whether it’s wildlife or landscapes, keep an eye out for those images that you’re not expecting.  Many times we go out hoping to capture one thing, and if we focus on that one thing too hard we might miss the closer (or wider) angle…  (Click HERE to view yesterday’s photo of the day!)

The Post-Processing

For this image, the sunrise was so vibrant that all I really needed to do was bump up the contrast and clone out a few bubbles / feathers that were floating on the water.  Done!

 

Take care, and happy clicking!
=Matthew Saville=

Disclaimer

By the way, since I have been noticing some comments along the lines of “why is this the photo of the day?”  Allow me to explain.  These posts are not really meant to be “OMG this is the best photo I have seen in 24 hours, you have to check it out it is mind-blowingly inspiring!!!”  They are simply meant to be more like “A Photo a Day, with an explanation of how it was shot and any inspirational / technical tips that might be associated”.  So, I hope this clears things up.  Feel free to post feedback, although keep in mind that these images might have been created yesterday, or they might have been created seven years ago!  ;-)

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About

Matthew Saville is a full-time wedding photographer at Lin & Jirsa Photography, and a senior editor & writer at SLR Lounge. Connect with him on Google Plus

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