Posts Tagged ‘Swan Photography’

December 9, 2012
Trumpeter Swan © Nichole Beaulac

Trumpeter Swan © Nichole Beaulac

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

From Niki:

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

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

The Trumpeter Swan Society October 2012 Photograph of the Month

October 5, 2012

Trumpeter Swan © Mike Martin

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

Mike’s capture of the drops of water falling from the swan’s bill is just the start of all things right in his photo.  Yes, there might be some fortunate aspect like there was no wind, but the depth of field and the clarity of the primary focal points are all about Mike’s capabilities.

The water bokeh is only enhanced with the lack of wind chop on the water.  Imagine if there had been wind: The drops of water would disappear into the background and a messy background would mute the definition of the head and neck.  Mike went out to take photographs on the perfect day and was rewarded.

The pink “lip” (not all Trumpeter Swans have the pink “lip”), the bill, the eye, the neck and those water drops are all in crisp focus.  A high f-stop helps increase the depth-of-field, and again, Mike going out on a sunny day allowed him to utilize a higher f-stop.

Mike’s composition puts the swan’s eye just to the left of center allowing for a lead in from the right.  It also allows the neck to balance and circle the center-line of the canvas pushing the viewer’s perspective to the pink “lip” and then to those incredibly detailed drops of water.

Mike took the time to go out and photograph during the appropriate weather and then used his skills to come up with the best possible photograph.  I am not sure there would be any way to improve this outstanding photograph!

Featured Photographer for October 2012 – Mike Martin, State of Arkansas

From Mike:  “I am a native Arkansan and originally from Wynne, AR but I have lived most of my adult life in Northwest Arkansas.  I am a current resident of Cave Springs, AR.

I graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Criminology from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, AR.  After graduating from college, I served as a pilot and officer in the U.S. Navy. My present profession spans over 30 years as a Human Resources professional in manufacturing, and I currently serves as the H.R. Director for Preformed Line Products in Rogers, AR.

I have been an avid nature and wildlife photographer for over 25 years.  I particularly enjoy the challenge of capturing birds in-flight and have a passion for birds of prey.  As an avid outdoorsman most of my life, I have coupled my knowledge of the outdoors with photography to capture animals in their natural habitats.

My photos have recently been published by the New York City Parks and Recreation Department, the New York State Parks Department, Cornell University’s Ornithology Department’s award winning website, “All About Birds” and the California Parks Department of Parks and Recreation.

Last year, one of my photos was selected for publication in a book entitled, Capture Arkansas.  The photo was one of only 200 photos selected for publication from over 63,000 submissions for this book that was published in November 2010.  In September 2010, one of my photos won the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s Spotlight contest “People’s Choice” award. This photo was the highest voted photo by the general public from over 10,000 submissions.  And in May of 2011, another one of my photos won the Nature division in a photo contest sponsored by the Mid American Photography Symposium held in Eureka Springs, AR.  This same photo of a great blue heron was also awarded the “Grand Champion” award.”

More of Mike’s photos can be viewed at his website.

About the Photo:

From Mike:  This image was shot at Magness Lake near Heber Springs, AR.  This small lake has become a migration wintering spot for over 200 trumpeters who make this lake their home from around November to late February each year.  I arrived at the lake in the afternoon on Christmas Day, 2011.  Afternoons are when the swans arrive back at the lake after feeding in the surrounding farm fields during the day.  I love the challenge of capturing birds in flight and these majestic trumpeters are a beautiful sight returning in formation to the lake late in the day.  I happened to catch this mature trumpeter sipping water after a long day feeding in the fields and loved the effect of the water droplet that fell from its beak.

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

The Trumpeter Swan Society September 2011 Photograph of the Month

September 10, 2011

Trumpeter Swan in Flight by Richard Eyre

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

Richard’s image of the Trumpeter Swan in flight shows that having slightly less focused aspects of the subject can bring out the highlights you want to accentuate in your photograph.

The soft focus on the wings helps in at least three ways: They push the viewer’s field of vision towards the head and the eye of the swan.  The soft focus also helps transition the bird into the warm, subtle tones of the background.  And the third point is that it gives a feeling of action and movement to the swan.

We have gone back and forth over lighting issues on a white-colored subject.  There are pros to bright, sunny days as the basis for the photograph and there are different positive aspects for photographs taken on warm, overcast days.

What I enthusiastically appreciate about this photograph is the muted tones of the water in the background.  There is no harsh blue contrasting with the softness of the swan, just an overall feeling of serenity in the lighting and the composition.

All of this points to Richard’s capabilities in creating an outstanding photograph!

Featured Photographer for September, 2011 – Richard Eyre, Wisconsin

Richard Eyre is a Northern Wisconsin based photographer specializing in unique, expressive landscapes and scenic images.  His prints feature vivid colors and artistic composition to create captivating visions of the world.

Rick has spent years exploring and photographing many diverse landscapes though-out the United States and around the globe.

His web site is

About the Photo:

This swan was photographed along the Mississippi river in Minnesota last winter, on one of the coldest days of the year.

We are pleased that Richard was willing to share this “keeper” shot in support of Trumpeter Swans

The Trumpeter Swan Society August 2011 Photograph of the Month

July 25, 2011

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:

Contact Kip Ladage via e-mail at:

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.

The Trumpeter Swan Society April 2011 Photograph of the Month

April 11, 2011

Danny Brown's Trumpeter Swan in early morning light.

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

Danny’s advice for photographing wildlife is to get out before sunrise so that you are in a position to capture the image as the sun rises and the wildlife become active.  In this photograph you can see the warm, early morning light reflected off of the swans feathers, as well as in the background.

The warmness of the bokeh (In photography, bokeh (Japanese pronunciation: [boke]) is the blur, or the aesthetic quality of the blur, in out-of-focus areas of an image, or “the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light.”[6] Differences in lens aberrations and aperture shape cause some lens designs to blur the image in a way that is pleasing to the eye, while others produce blurring that is unpleasant or distracting—”good” and “bad” bokeh, respectively. Bokeh occurs for parts of the scene that lie outside the depth of field. Photographers sometimes deliberately use a shallow focus technique to create images with prominent out-of-focus regions.) (Wikipedia, 2011) enhances the visual effect and sharpness of the swan.

In Danny’s description of his equipment, his use of the 500mm f.4 lens also helps with the bokeh.  Long lenses usually have a shallow depth of field (when used beyond their minimum focus) which gives sharp focus to the subject (notice the water dripping from the bill and the distinct feather edges) while keeping the fore- and background out of focus

The placement of the swan in the photograph shows some of the out of focus foreground, which does not detract from the subject, but does “even out the balance of the subject in its habitat.

As with any wildlife photograph, the eye needs to be sharp to bring it to life.  The fact that Danny has his tripod strapped down minimizes the need to balance paddling and holding the equipment.  It also ensures a sturdy base, which creates a better opportunity for a crisp image.

Danny shows his knowledge of the subject, the timing and the capabilities of his camera to create an outstanding photograph!

Featured Photographer for April, 2011 – Danny Brown, Missouri

Danny Brown is a lifelong Missourian who grew up in the Missouri Ozarks.  After receiving a Master’s in Fisheries and Wildlife at the University of Missouri, Danny started working as a Fisheries Biologist with the Missouri Department of Conservation, a position he has held for over twenty years.  During his spare time, Danny can be found traipsing through the woods and prairies or plying Ozark streams and large rivers looking for natural images to capture with his digital camera

Danny’s photos have been published in Missouri Conservation, Colorado Outdoors, National Wildlife Magazine, Outdoor Illinois Magazine, Big River Magazine, Missouri Natural Events Calendar and the Ducks Unlimited Calendar. In 2010, Danny was a semi-finalist in the Nature’s Best Photography Wildland Smith Rice International Awards.  Most recently, Danny’s image of a trio of Pileated Woodpecker nestlings was published in the newly released National Geographic’s Backyard Guide to Birds of North America.

More of Danny’s work can be seen at and if you would like to receive his weekly newsletter, “Nature Frames”,  give him a call at (636)584-9575 and he will add you to the list serve.  Prints are available for purchase by calling the same phone number.

From Danny: Regarding the trumpeter swan image, it was shot from my camouflage kayak on Heron Pond at Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary, West Alton, Missouri, last fall.  I was working under a special use permit from the area manager to obtain photos for Corps of Engineers and Audubon displays and brochures.  The attached images were made in the first light of morning and the color has not been altered in any way, a question that I often get about these images.  I always tell people to get out before daylight on any marsh or prairie and wait for the sun to come up; they will see nature’s magic first hand!

My wildlife images are made with a Canon 1D Mark IV and Canon 500/4 L IS lens mounted on a Gitzo G LS Carbon Fiber Tripod with a Wimberley II Gimbal Head.  I uses the same rig, even when shooting from my kayak; everything is strapped down to my lap.

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

The Trumpeter Swan Society March 2011 Photograph of the Month

March 11, 2011

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

The Trumpeter Swan Society February 2011 Photograph of the Month

February 10, 2011

Trumpeter Swans in Flight by Hal Everett

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

Hal’s flight shot of five swans against a dark sky with rapidly changing lighting shows how planning, knowing the capabilities of your camera and looking for the appropriate composition create an exceptional photograph.

From my perspective, a photograph with a well illuminated subject in front of a dark background just makes the subject “pop” out of the picture.  This is a stunning example of that technique.

As a photographer you get to choose the type of lighting you want (or hopefully will get) for your subject, so you need to be aware of changing conditions and where best to take advantage of what is offered you. Hal had the foresight to use his local knowledge of where to find the swans and then to position himself in a situation where the sun was at his back and the dark clouds were away from his position.

If you read Hal’s write up on his camera settings you will see he is a fan of high speed photography.  An exposure of 1/3200 second would require a great deal of ambient light, or, you bump your ISO up, which is what Hal did.  The higher the ISO you set your camera on, the faster the exposure you can shoot.  So most of us shoot at 100 or 200 ISO and our exposure would have been 1/500 of a second.  The extra fast speed allows for a much sharper image, something Hal used to the photograph’s advantage.

Taking a number of shots is a necessity to get the right composition with flying bird (although it can happen with a single shot).  As you follow the birds through your viewfinder you are always looking for the opportunity to have each bird’s head visible in the shot.  There is nothing worse than having a great shot turn into a not-so-good shot because of a headless bird.  Setting your camera on a burst mode is one way to ensure that you can fire away, which enhances the chance of coming up with a stunning composition like Hal’s

Hal shows his knowledge of the subject, the capabilities of his camera and the patience and timing to create an outstanding photograph!

Featured Photographer for February, 2011 – Hal Everett, Western Washington

I have been a serious amateur wildlife and underwater photographer since 1992 have won a competition in both categories.   My favorite avian subjects are Trumpeter Swans and Peregrine Falcons.  I live in Western Washington, where both of these species winter in substantial numbers.   I am a member of The Trumpeter Swan Society and participated in a Trumpeter Swan rescue in 2010.

I  located a large flock of Trumpeters in a cornfield late in the afternoon of 11/26/2010 while searching in Snohomish County, WA.  I positioned myself  West of the Swans.  To the East were many dark clouds stacked up in front of the Cascade Mountains.  Behind me, to the West, were scattered clouds with occasional sun breaks and the sun low in the sky.  Single swans, pairs, and family groups were constantly flying to and from the field.  Because the background was so dark I knew that the camera would tend to overexpose the swans in flight, and found that an exposure compensation of -1.5 EV produced a pleasing result.   My initial images were all of swans flying in front of trees, power lines, houses and railroad tracks.  Eventually, a few of the swans began flying above all of the ground clutter, with nothing but dark clouds in the background.  As this group of five ascended, the sun shone through a break in the clouds behind me, illuminating the swans in perfect light with nothing but dark, purple blue clouds behind them.  Because a super-telephoto lens has such a shallow depth of focus, the clouds in the background were uniformly blurred.  I used an exposure of 1/3200 second, f6.3, and ISO 500.

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

The Trumpeter Swan Society January 2011 Photograph of the Month

January 10, 2011

Trumpeter Swan Reflection Detail by Peter Sulzle

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

Peter’s attention to detail, from keeping the bird level during the capture to the post processing enhancement, only improved an already stunning photograph showing the subtle curves of the bird’s neck and the contrast between the bird and the dark background. 

 One way to bring the viewer’s eye to your goal is to create a subtle bokeh for the background or you can remove all color and contrast leaving a “blank” background.  Either technique puts the photographer’s subject in the foreground without any distractions.

As Peter stated, he underexposed the photograph which isolated the swan from everything else in the photograph.  Without any background, focus becomes an increasingly important aspect of the photograph.  Every feather is crisp in detail and allows the viewer’s eye to wander over the highlights picking out every feature.

The compact pose of the swan and the stunning reflection challenges the viewer to find discrepancies in the reflection.  You won’t find them, as Peter’s use of a tripod and super fast lens allowed him to capture the image at his discretion.  His composition of the photograph, the detailed reflection and the contrast between the swan and the background are all pieces of an outstanding photograph.  

 Featured Photographer for January, 2011 –  Peter  Sulzle, Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada

I am Peter Sulzle and I have been interested in photography since I got my first 35mm camera in my late teens.  In the early 90’s I met Duane Rosenkranz, a photographer whose photographs and passion for the outdoors left me with a desire to create photographs like his.

In 1995, I started getting images used in local conservation and naturalist publications such as Blue Jay, Alberta Naturalist and Alberta Game Warden.  It was a thrill to see my images in print. 

I am not professionally trained in photography, but rather have learned through trial and error and am able to share everything that has worked for me while in the field.  I am formally educated in web design, customer service and entrepreneurship.  These days I live in Kamloops, B.C. and am still learning on my own as camera gear, computers and computer software continue to evolve.   I write a monthly photography column for SPIN news magazine in Sun Peaks,

B.C.  I also contribute gear reviews when I can and continue my quest to market my photographs.  To fill my need to support local and national organizations, I offer images to Bear Aware Program, the Grassland Conservation Council and the Nature Conservancy of Canada. 

My Trumpeter Swan photograph featured here is an example of my original tight portraiture style that is now evolving to a style that creates images that allow a little breathing room.  I am including more habitats in my wildlife photographs and am slowly seeing myself extracting small, interesting scenes from the grand landscape when the creatures are scarce.

The image was shot two stops under my camera’s meter at f9. In Photoshop 3, I dropped the exposure one more full stop to achieve this effect. I used a Canon 50d body to take advantage of the crop factor. On the body my 500mm f4IS lens and 1.4x teleconverter were used. Everything was mounted on a tripod.  My main goal while looking through the lens was to make sure I had the bird level.

We are pleased that Peter was willing to share this outstanding shot in support of Trumpeter Swans and The Trumpeter Swan Society. To see more of his photos, please visit his stunning web page at:

The Trumpeter Swan Society December 2010 Photograph of the Month

December 10, 2010

Trumpeter Swan close up detail by Maria Macklin

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

Maria’s close up photograph of a wayward swan in the United Kingdom shows the art of cropping used to induce isolation of the bird’s crisply focused bill and the water drops.

Showing only the fore part of the neck as it curves towards the bill lends a sense of balance with the water that makes up the background.  One other highlight of the neck is how is fades in focus under the chin to match the soft focus of the water.

Most wildlife photographs show a finely focused eye, which is usually used to draw the viewer into the photograph.  This view doesn’t even encompass the entire eye, but that actually lets your eye wander to the bill and then the drops of water.

This is such a unique photograph and intelligent use of cropping that it dares viewers to go out and try the technique in the field

Featured Photographer for December, 2010 – Maria Macklin, Rugeley, Staffordshire – UK.

My name is Maria Macklin I live in a small town in the centre of the UK.  I am married with two beautiful girls, I have been interested in wildlife photography for many years.  I just love to be outdoors and I am at my happiest with my camera in hand ready to capture all those special moment’s as they happen.  I work full time nowadays so do not get the time to go out and about as often as I’d like.  So I live for the weekends when I try to get out as often as I can.

This shot of the Trumpeter Swan was taken at my local Nature Reserve which I visit on a regular basis.  Lucky for me, it is only a short walk over the fields.

The Trumpeter Swan is not a native bird to the UK so I feel very privileged to have been able to photograph it at all.  It first appeared at the reserve back in April 2007 and I fell in love with it instantly as he was very photogenic and seemed to enjoy all the attention.

The Swan was last seen at the reserve just after some quite severe flooding in the June of 2007 the nature reserve is on a large main river The River Trent which is 274 kilometres (171 miles) long, beginning at it’s source in North Stafford shire in the centre of the UK and ending at it’s mouth where the Trent joins the Humber Estuary.  Another local photographer had seen the swan not long after the flooding on a nearby canal.  I often wonder where he went to and still look out for him when I go out even now.

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

Trumpeter Swan Society Photo of the Month – JUNE 2009

June 5, 2009
Mike Dunn - Trumpeter Swan Takeoff in Yellowstone Mike Dunn – Trumpeter Swan Takeoff in Yellowstone

Professional Photographer & TTSS Photo of the Month Host Greg Smith says:

Mike Dunn’s image of a Trumpeter Swan taking flight in the middle of the Yellowstone winter elicits thoughts of elegance in its tones. In this outstanding color photograph that is displayed in shades of black and white, Mike was able to capture each feather’s detail along with droplets of water in the foreground. The ethereal feel of this photo is enhanced by an all-white bird against an all-white background – an incredibly challenging photographic situation that was met with success!

Mike Dunn – Featured Photographer of the Month
Our featured photographer, Mike Dunn, lives in Chatham County, NC , where he has worked 18 years as an educator at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh. Favorite photography spots include his local area, Yellowstone National Park and Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge near Plymouth, NC. He has had articles and photographs published in Wildlife in North Carolina magazine, Carolina Country and is a frequent contributor to the Museum’s Naturalist magazine.

Mike conducts workshops every winter along the North Carolina coast to experience the magic of Tundra Swans in their winter home and has helped band swans on several occasions. Of this photo he says, “Seeing Trumpeter Swans in Yellowstone is magical. This shot was taken one gray morning along the Yellowstone River as it winds its way through Hayden Valley. The slapping sound made as they run across the water to get airborne is something that sticks with you – I can hear it every time I look at this picture.”