The Trumpeter Swan Society August 2011 Photograph of the Month

Kip Ladage's Trumpeter Swan close-up.

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

Kip’s image of the Trumpeter Swan photographed with his wife’s point and shoot Nikon just shows that knowledge of your subject, and enhanced photographic skills are so important when creating an outstanding photograph.  This is not to say that point and shoot cameras are less capable of creating excellent quality photographs.  On the contrary, the quality and capabilities of the latest models are getting so good that in my discussions with some photographers, there is a small movement migrating away from the DSLR’s and their large lenses to the point and shoot.  More on that in the future…

As in the past, I have talked about the challenge of lighting on a white subject that has black features.  Kip did an excellent job of capturing the finest of detail in the feathers, which the black background only enhanced.  And with a light-colored subject, that also allowed Kip to increase the depth of field.

Another very nice quality of the photograph is that it is not the entire bird.  The focal point of the bird is the head and the eye and with that being the case, just look at how the neck, wings and feathers pull the viewer’s perspective to that point.  If the photograph included the entire bird or had a cluttered background, there would be a less focused feeling towards the focal point.  All of this points to Kip’s capabilities to creat an outstanding photograph on the spur of the moment!

Featured Photographer for August, 2011 – Kip Ladage, Tripoli, Iowa

Kip Ladage is self-taught nature photographer and writer residing in Tripoli, Iowa.  His photos and writings have appeared in books, magazines, newspapers, posters, calendars, web sites, and television at the local, state, and national levels.  His images have also been used in books, magazines, and web sites in the United Kingdom and Canada.

Kip has presented numerous nature photography programs and workshops to people of all ages–from Kindergarten students to college classes, adult organizations, and residents of long-term care facilities.

When not pursuing wildlife images, Kip Ladage enjoys backpacking, hiking, paddling his kayak, and riding his motorcycle.

For more information, visit Ladage Photography on the web at: http://sites.butler-bremer.com/web/kladage/home.htm.

Contact Kip Ladage via e-mail at: LadagePhotography@gmail.com.

About the Photo:

The fact that this trumpeter swan image even exists is based a bit on preplanning, good timing, ideal positioning, and much good luck.

My wife and I were visiting the Iowa DNR booth at the Iowa State Fair.  Outside of their booth is a small pond where injured and rehab waterfowl are on display for the public to enjoy.  Included in the display were two trumpeter swans.  I seldom travel anywhere without a camera of some sort.  On this day we were carrying my wife’s point and shoot camera.  I left my DSLR home since it is heavy and, after all, what is the likelihood of finding a nature photo subject in a sea of people at the state fair!

While Kristy and I were watching the ducks and swans, this particular swan floated near us.  I noticed it approaching and began tracking the beautiful bird with the camera as it approached.  Just as the bird moved directly in front of us, it turned its head back and for a split second adjusted its feathers.  During that brief moment in time I captured just this one image of the bird.  Under normal conditions I would have been very frustrated that my wife’s camera was so slow, allowing only one image file to be created.  However, in this case, the camera captured the special moment perfectly.  Who could ask for anything more?

Image details: Nikon P100, no cropping, image shown full frame.

We are pleased that Kip was willing to share this “keeper” shot in support of Trumpeter Swans and The Trumpeter Swan Society.

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