Saturday, February 16, 2013

Trumpeter Swan Fight

Wildlife photography is about moments given.  Once in a while opportunities break your way and Thursday AM was one of them. When I first saw this I thought it was a single swan fighting off an otter attack.  Eventually it became clear it was a swan fight.

Fighting Trumpeter Swans

Mary Ann Hicks at the Ponca Elk Education Center kicked this photo upstairs to AGFC biologists and they speculate it was a mating related fight. Their thought was the older male was spurned by the female, and he worked pretty hard for a half hour to assert himself.  So far as I could tell, it didn't work out for him.  I have 20 odd pictures of this fight.

The best thing for me as a photographer was to capture a rare event.  Animal photos can get pretty ordinary and work in standard poses. There was nothing standard about this.  It is "up light" and with wings and water blasting all directions, everything was just right.

The only honest view of this though is that I was given this opportunity. Wildlife photo and watching opportunities are the Boxley Valley experience.  

Because of my experience I knew enough to go high ISO to stop the action, I moved off to the side so the sun was not directly into the camera, and I over exposed 1 stop. Not much more to report except this could end up being my best shoot for 2013. None of this is rocket surgery.

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