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Kate's blog posts, Mute swans photography. The most graceful of birds
Swans seems to be one of the overlooked birds in the UK, yet they are one of the most stunning birds to watch and photograph, I've spent many hours with these wonderful birds and often just sit and watch them live their crazy lives. They can be the most chilled out birds one minute and the most aggressive the next with such size and power on show. Cobs (males) will often chase birds across large lakes in springtime, for me it's really funny to watch and photograph.
I seem to have some kind of connection to nature. The birds when breeding or with young will let me close, been within ten feet from a family of swans without issues, I gather it's the way I am with them, it's show them respect and never upsetting their lives, for me that is the golden rule of nature photography, if nature is left alone it will give you a better experience, it will get on with it's natural life.
Sit back, relax and watch one of the most impressive birds in the world. Their graceful nature can soon turn into a full on fight with other birds, dogs and people. My word it can be funny to watch swans walk out of a lake up to someone and rob them of their chips they are a very large and intimidating bird.
Birds and photography, well it's not about cameras whatsoever, it's about being out in nature and enjoying the moments, the camera is there to do a job, it's set up for the subjects and with birds AFPs are set to one spot only, forget auto mode here, the longer the lens the more on target (bird's) around the eye you have be or the DOF will bite. personally I see too many hung up over their cameras and forget to enjoy the moment, yes you need to concentrate on what you doing with the kit but keep that to the minimum.
The joy in just watching them go about their normal lives.
Breeding season and throughout springtime these birds are at their most active, chasing of other birds and anything that's within range. showing power to females which is one of the highlights of spring for me, to see geese fleeing for their lives is funny to watch and normally will end with them standing on the water doing their display, almost strutting their stuff typical men lol.
When they start to move towards another bird, it's time to get the camera ready, you never know what's going to happen.
Born to be mono
No matter the conditions these birds are the most photogenic going and they suit B&W like no other. For me it's not their colour or lack of it but their look suits the style, the most graceful and moody looking birds you can find. They seem to know just how to look, they almost know they having their photos taken.
Birds like swans suits my style, set against a flooded misty landscape (below) just suits the swan so much.
Having a connection to nature helps so much, I can then capture the look I want
Swans are stunning birds and often over looked by many photographers, they not true natures lovers in my eyes.
In the UK they often shot with crossbows and only today (18/01/2018) two was badly injured, shot though theirs necks, both was lucky to make it and are recovering in a nature hospital. Terrible what people does to nature.