70-200mm IS lens, Birds, Canon 50D, Luminar, Photo a week Challenge, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Picfair, What I Am Working On

What I Am Working On: Telling A Different Story

Often when I am shooting nature images, I take a lot of photos, with the thought of later editing mostly for clarity, retaining the story as is. And then there are the times when I chose to edit the story itself:

ISO 640 85mm f/16 1/500sec

In this original file, I think the story includes the protective nature of both the adult swans. My edit includes just one:

ISO 640 85mm f/16 1/500sec

I’ve taken a lot of liberties with color as well. The result is a completely different story. In this new image, the row of cygnets is much more important. From that, the lines and textures in the water and on the birds become elements that are more dominant than they were in the original file.

If you are wondering about the backstory of this photo, it was taken in June 2018 at a small lake near where I live. The cygnets who were born in this clutch did not make it to maturity. The adults are still on the lake and within the last week, I am fairly certain have constructed a new nest.

What do you think of the liberties I have taken with this story? Feel free to leave a comment below.


Added to A Photo a Week Challenge: Getting Your Ducks in a Row.

Picfair version is here.



21 thoughts on “What I Am Working On: Telling A Different Story

  1. I like it, the color is brighter and it looks like the story of a protective mother watching over her brood…. byt the bigger photo looks like both parents protecting their brood….what we see and what is there are often two different things. your back story makes me sad that the cygnets did not survive, but nature is a powerful force that we humans seem to ignore. have a wonderful week.


    • Thank you very much. I was sad too that none of them survived, but the year before of six, two survived at least to the one year mark, making them old enough to leave, which I thought was wonderful. The number that don’t make it speaks to the number of forces that are at work in the environment, like you say, even a seemingly tame environment like our local pond.


  2. I like what you’ve done. I do the same, take several photos at differing focal lengths and crop whenever necessary. With today’s large sensors, it’s easy to crop without losing detail.


  3. I love the edit with just the parent and cygnets. Sad to know they did not make it. We have swans on a pond near us and last year one out of three made it. Sometimes none make it but he pair always comes back. We have coyotes and foxes in the neighborhood. Survival of the fittest.


  4. Beautiful way to depict a “different” story.
    I did not feel the protective mode in the cropped version a maybe the soft and enhanced colors added to the calm and quietude –
    But in the original I did feel the both parents guard –
    The other feels like a sunny ol time


  5. I’m sorry to hear the wee ones did not survive. Thus goes the cycle of nature. As to the editing I think it’s creative license as an artist. It may be two stories but both beautiful ones.


  6. I see what you mean about the first photo being about defensiveness of the swans, that’s true. But I was really drawn to the second photo, the edit felt lovely, perhaps it’s the feeling of family or the symmetry of three grey fuzzy young at the “feet” of the adult swan. Not sure! I like that you’re telling stories, and it reminds me of some of your flower photos that seem to be having conversations with nearby objects (like a fence). πŸ™‚ Thanks, Amy!


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