The Trumpeter Swan Society Photo-of-the-Month, August, 2010

Trumpeter Swan on the Wing by Matthew Fells

Trumpeter Swan on the Wing, by Matthew Fells

Professional Photographer and TTSS Photo-of-the-Month host Greg Smith says:

Matthew’s photograph of this Trumpeter Swan shows excellent depth of field as depicted by the face being in crisp focus as well as the band on the bird’s right leg. The pose of extended wings positions the bird to show its entire underside . The sky, with its diffuse gray clouds, takes the edge off of the contrast there by allowing for a well exposed subject, without any heavy shadows. And if you read Matthew’s comments on the shot, you will note that he captured the photograph without the benefit of autofocus. Nice shot.

There is one more aspect that stands out in the photograph – the patagial wing tags. Matthew’s excellent photograph will allow researchers to document the specific bird coupled with the location and date of the photograph. Researchers utilize specific alpha-numeric codes and colors to identify individuals. So, given the following information, where was this bird banded? You’ll find the reference to various codes for tags and bands on another Blog posting – stored in our management section, or the January 2010 archives. Here you will find that yellow tags with black code ### (3 numbers) or a letter followed by two numbers = Ontario. Likely this bird was banded by volunteer Beverly Kingdon and helpers at LaSalle Park – read more about these efforts in the Blog posting stored in our management section (or the February 2010 archives).

Featured Photographer for August, 2010 – Matthew Fells, Barrie, Ontario:

I am originally from Nova Scotia, and am currently working at the Simcoe County Archives in Ontario. I consider myself a hobbyist /enthusiast photographer.

I was able to get this photograph after spending several hours at the Tiny Marsh Provincial Wildlife Area, a Canadian Important Bird Area in Simcoe County, Ontario. Tiny Marsh was Ontario’s first owned and managed wetlands and is place I enjoy photographing ducks, geese, and Red-winged Blackbirds. On this day, I’d seen a pair of swans in the distance, but they were content to stay well out of range. I’d recently read that geese like to take off into the wind and often displace in the evening before sunset, so I moved to a downwind position on the causeway and waited.

And waited. And waited. After an hour or two, I got a bit bored and started taking pictures of closer species, among them the two Trumpeter Swans. I glanced back and saw that they were heading right for me, so I swung around and fired off a few bursts as they flew toward, and then over me. I was using an old Nikon Series E 70-210mm lens, so I didn’t have auto-focus or metering on my D90. Quite a few of the shots I got were out of focus, but a couple of the shots were keepers.

We are pleased that Matthew was willing to share this “keeper” shot in support of Trumpeter Swans and The Trumpeter Swan Society. Find more his images on his Flickr site, http://www.flickr.com/photos/allseeingcuttlefish/.

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