Professional Photographer and TTSS Photo-of-the-Month host Greg Smith says:
Niki’s close-up of the immature Trumpeter Swan shows how the use of flash provides an increase in depth of field and area in optimum focus. As with some wildlife, when found in close proximity to people, they become accustomed to close approach and allow for a more intimate photograph.
Depth-of-field (DOF) is the area between nearest and farthest points in the photograph that are acceptably sharp. Depending on your camera and lens, there is always only one precise focal point at a time. There is a gradual decrease in sharpness from the focal point as you move towards the front and the back of the photograph, so that within the DOF, the decrease in sharpness is imperceptible in normal viewing.
Niki followed the golden rule in photography, if your subject’s eye is in the photograph, it has to be the focal point and also has to be tack sharp. Follow the focus both forward and away from the eye and you will see where the sharpness falls away.
In her photograph, Niki chose a composition (she got her camera lower so the only areas behind the swan’s face were well out of the acceptable DOF) which provided a foreground that was mostly in focus. She could have elevated her lens to get more of the far side of the bird in focus and then cropped out the unfocused foreground, but this a composition question that is always left to the photographer.
We have all visited parks or gone camping and found that wildlife living in those areas, are much more approachable and easier to photograph! It is a surefire way to get close-ups that might only be otherwise available to those that have some of the bigger, faster lenses.
Featured Photographer for December, 2012 – Nichole Beaulac, State of California and Province of British Columbia
Niki’s residence is her motorhome where she spends six months of the year in British Columbia and the remainder in Southern California
I have been very interested in nature photography for a few years and now that I am retired I seek out places to go to photograph birds and animals and all other types of creatures but mainly birds. I have photographed birds at the Esquimalt Lagoon a few times. The swans are easy to approach and so beautiful.
See and find out more about Niki’s photographs at http://www.nicolebeaulac.com
We are pleased that Niki was willing to share this “keeper” shot in support of Trumpeter Swans and The Trumpeter Swan Society.