70-200mm IS lens, Birds, Canon 50D, Cee's Black & White Photo Challenge, Instagram, Monochrome Monday, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Picfair

The Swans

I live near several small lakes, one of which has a swan family:

ISO 640 78mm f/16 1/500sec

This image is one of the first I captured of the whole family. I first posted about this family last week and my aim there was to keep the images as true to the original scene as possible. For this post, I am wandering out to a bit more creative territory. First a black and white edit:

ISO 640 78mm f/16 1/500sec

The first thing I did with this edit was to crop it. I wanted to really bring the swan in the foreground to an almost uncomfortable closeness. This swan was acting in a very protective manner and I think the crop helps tell that part of the story. I then brought the highlights in the image down and the shadows up. I wanted this black and white version to be a bit smoother than its original as shot exposure. I then added a vignette, darkening the corners.

I like this image and the crop, so I decided to create another color version:

ISO 640 78mm f/16 1/500sec

For this version, I started with a preset that was suggestive of a film camera. I kept the brightness of the original exposure though. It has a completely different color cast to it than the original. The luminance sliders for yellow, green, aqua and blue have all been boosted, and the color temp of the overall photo was also increased.

I’m sorry to say that one of the swans went missing shortly after these photos were taken. I posted the sad news on my Instagram:


How do you like the edits? Do you have a favorite? Feel free to comment below.


Added to Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge.

Picfair versions: Black & White and Color.



41 thoughts on “The Swans

  1. I like the cropping, and that swan in the foreground works well with where it is. Really like the BW version. The colour version I felt was a bit overly warm…but I guess since it’s summer, it’s a summer kind of vibe. Pity about one of them going missing :/


  2. Oh the peace that swans give us. Sorry to hear about one of the babies.

    Your edits are lovely. I am a cookie person so I love the color captures.


    • It’s really the film filters that tend to get my attention the most. There is something about that look that really appeals to me. I always am sad whenever one of the young ones goes missing, despite knowing that that is how these things work. Last year there were six and four made it through the first year, which I suspect is actually pretty good.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I like the closeness of the foreground swan too. And they do go “missing” the little ones. We have a small lake near us and this year the swans had two babies that we saw and now we are only seeing the adults. i am hoping the babies are somewhere in the rushes but I doubt it. In previous years we always saw them once they hatched and watched them grow .Nature can be hard.


    • Yes, nature is tough. One of the two babies went missing over the weekend, and I thought, how sad, we are down to one. But then yesterday morning, the second one reappeared. I had been hoping it was just in the rushes, and the lake is really overgrown this year, so I knew it was possible, it’s just that that was the first time I’d ever really seen one reappear.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Once they are at the 6-month point they are considered old enough to move out on their own. For the four we had last year, I can’t confirm this, but it seems like they all did well. Two left at about the 6-month point. The other two at about 9-months. The second leaving set was a bit more dramatic. We had a cold snap and one got stuck in the ice. The fire department came and got it out and took it to a bird rescue. The bird rescue brought it back 48-hours later. It then lived on the other side of the lake from its parent and remaining sibling. Then the other sibling joined it, then they were both gone. These birds will be sexually mature at 4 years, but before then tend to live in groups. So, the behavior of all 4 seemed healthy and appropriate, so I just assumed the best.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Where is your Focus? | Photography Journal Blog

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