The Trumpeter Swan Society March 2011 Photograph of the Month

Jess Lee's Trumpeter Swans

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

Jess’ photograph of the Trumpeter Swan family is one of those photos where your eye is drawn to the central bird with open wings and then your eye relaxes and takes in the other three birds.

There is a simplicity to the birds being centered in the photograph, but complexity develops with the three birds at rest and preening along with the upright adult in the background.  The cygnets blend into the darkness of the water, but are plainly visible as you search for details.  And though the remaining bright adult could easily pull the eye away from everything else, it is the upright adult that steals the show.

I like the crisp detail of the flight feathers and the shadow of the neck on the wing.  The rippled water and very light mist softens the dark background and releases any potential contrast issue with the water and the birds.

Jess uses his behavioral knowledge of the swans and his photographic expertise to create a unique photograph of a situation that could very easily be another swan “family shot”.

Featured Photographer for March, 2011 – Jess Lee, Island Park, Idaho

“Jess Lee’s home and business is located a short distance from Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.  He has been living, photographing, guiding and instructing in the Yellowstone eco-system for over 30 years.”  While this is a great nature, wildlife and travel destination, Jess finds time to spend over 200 days in the field adding to his large stock file.

Jess has been very generous in sharing his outstanding Trumpeter Swan photographs with the Society (See another great photo in the November, 2009 blog “Photo of the Month”).   And if you want to learn more on how Jess captures these images, check out his web page and learn so much more.

And while you are on his web page, check out Jess’ series of workshops.  He travels to different parts of North America and the world sharing his photographic knowledge.

We are pleased that Jess was willing to share this “keeper” shot in support of Trumpeter Swans and The Trumpeter Swan Society. Find more of his images at

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