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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

Tundra Swans

November 27th, 2012 · No Comments

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On Sunday afternoon when I looked out the window at my desk where I was working, I saw that the sky had cleared. For me clear skies = stop working. Since I live in Boulder, which brags about our 300 sunny days a year, that means I don’t get much work done.

My work indeed came to an immediate halt. I intended to drive to a favorite preserve, but just in case I could see some Tundra Swans that someone had reported at Baseline Reservoir, I stopped there and looked.

From the road I could see a flock of them in the distance. So I stopped there instead of going on. I parked my SUV on the south side of the reservoir at the dirt road behind a locked gate and crawled through the barbed wire fence. Then I walked back with my camera and tripod until the swans were at a right angle to this trail.

The swans were still several hundred yards out in the reservoir, so I was glad that I had mounted my teleconverter on my lens. That gave it a 560mm reach, but when I use a teleconverter with my camera and lens, I lose autofocus capability. Precise manual focus is much harder than autofocus, but since the light was good, I was able to stop down to f/16. That gave the lens a greater depth of field.

I also took a lot of pictures — 1,112 during my 1 1/4 hour visit — in hopes that some of them would turn out. Some did:

Two Adult Tundra Swans (Cygnus columbianus) and One Juvenile Rest on Baseline Reservoir (Canon 7D with 100-400mm lens and 1.4 teleconverter = equals 560mm, f/16, 1/500, ISO 800, -0.5ev)

Two Adult Tundra Swans (Cygnus columbianus) and One Juvenile Rest on Baseline Reservoir (Canon 7D with 100-400mm lens and 1.4 teleconverter = equals 560mm, f/16, 1/500, ISO 800, -0.5ev)

Click on the picture above to enlarge

A Tundra Swan Couple Gaze into Each Other's Eyes (Canon 7D with 100-400mm lens and 1.4 teleconverter = equals 560mm, f/16, 1/500, ISO 800, -0.5ev)

A Tundra Swan Couple Gaze into Each Other's Eyes (Canon 7D with 100-400mm lens and 1.4 teleconverter = equals 560mm, f/16, 1/500, ISO 800, -0.5ev)

Click on the picture above to enlarge
A Juvenile Tundra Swan Spreads its Wings in the Last Light of Day (Canon 7D with 100-400mm lens and 1.4 teleconverter = equals 560mm, f/16, 1/500, ISO 800, -0.5ev)

A Juvenile Tundra Swan Spreads its Wings in the Last Light of Day (Canon 7D with 100-400mm lens and 1.4 teleconverter = equals 560mm, f/16, 1/500, ISO 800, -0.5ev)

Click on the picture above to enlarge

We see beauty in terms of harmony of color or form. While we don’t see the predominantly white of swans as being exceptionally colorful, in fact it contains all colors. The sinuous curves of these Tundra Swans are irresistible to my eyes. That’s why I love them so much.

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