The Trumpeter Swan Society Photo-of-the-Month October 2010

Trumpeter Swan in Flight, by Tracy Knighton

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

Tracy’s challenge of capturing the swan in flight while creating a photograph with artistic merit provides us with a photo depicting a mastery of lighting and depth-of-field.

Given the deep blue sky and the side-lighted swan, the challenge would be to find detail in the primaries and secondaries that are shadowed. And there is detail in those shadows as well as in the sun lighted head, neck and upper breast. Histograms are a great source of information and can let you know whether there will be highlights in the lightest and darkest areas of the photograph. Most newer digital SLR’s have a viewable histogram that can tell you almost immediately whether your photograph will show details in those areas.

Depth of field is another challenge faced with a head-on photograph. Tracy was able to get the bill and face of the swan in focus as well as the back end of the bird. You can make this happen in at least three different ways: utilize a very high f-stop on a bright day (f16 or f22); utilize a flash in conjunction with the high f-stop; or bump your ISO up to a higher speed to give you the light and then use the higher f-stop.

Tracy was in the right position relative to the bird and the lighting and utilized a very broad depth of field to create this exceptional photo of a Trumpeter Swan as it winged toward her.

Featured Photographer for October, 2010 – Tracy Knighton, Coon Rapids Minnesota

I am Tracy Knighton from Minnesota and I have been interested in photography for about a year and a half now. Although I have lived in MN all my life, I am discovering new things as I look at the world through a lens. I am always looking for new places, events and challenges to use my camera. I have taken a couple of classes with community education, but most of my learning has taken place through hands on experience. I manipulate the camera settings to see what I like.

This photo was taken at Swan Park in Monticello MN. It was a chilly winter day, with some early morning fog along the Mississippi River. I got caught up in taking pictures and ended up being there for about two hours. The swans winter there from November to February each year. It is an amazing sight to see, and hear! I am currently working on a website/photography blog but it is in the developmental stages.

We are pleased that Tracy was willing to share this outstanding shot in support of Trumpeter Swans and The Trumpeter Swan Society. To see more of her photos, please visit her flickr site at


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One Response to “The Trumpeter Swan Society Photo-of-the-Month October 2010”

  1. Ron Capetz Says:

    Hi — I am looking for a nice photo of a classic white swan on water. I wish to buy the right to use it in a business logo. I am not finding much useful images by using Google. If you can offer me some help, please contact me.

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