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Photo Series-a Swan

Updated on August 3, 2014

Many of you have read the children's tale about the ugly duckling who ultimately turned out to be a beautiful swan. These creatures seem majestic when they are peacefully swimming or rather "gliding" through the water whether singly or in pairs, their photographs have been used for generations in a symbolic representation of eternal love. This is a good parody since most swan do mate for life.

"Swans, genus Cygnus, are birds of the family Anatidae, which also includes geese and ducks. Swans are grouped with the closely related geese in the subfamilyAnserinae where they form the tribe Cygnini. Sometimes, they are considered a distinct subfamily, Cygninae. There are six to seven species of swan in the genusCygnus; in addition there is another species known as the Coscoroba Swan, although this species is no longer considered related to the true swans. Swans usually mate for life, though 'divorce' does sometimes occur, particularly following nesting failure. The number of eggs in each clutch ranges from three to eight." Wikipedia

Locating some specimens shouldn't be that difficult since they are often found near a large body of fresh water, in many city lakes or parks and in a large majority of zoos and nature preserves and many are very used to a human presence . You will often see people offering crumbs of bread and such which they eagerly accept.

They are skittish, like many other bird species, so photographing them will require the use of a zoom lens preferably one with a range of about 400mm. Their faces are very coveted images since they seem almost regal. Their long and graceful necks also make for very pleasing images. Try to record images that have one or two specimens gently floating side by side on a still body of water with no other elements behind them so as not to create a distracting for a viewer.

Images featuring their silhouettes with emphasis on their very recognizable undulating long neck shapes are very popular with some publications such as calendars printers and are very often found in love cards, on wedding paraphernalia and used in various other applications.

Ballets have even been made around their themes, they have been kept by Europe's royalty for centuries and many fine jewelry features their "images'. It seems that swans have captured the hearts and imagination of men since the beginning and it is this fascination with them that makes their photographs very popular and sought after. However like with any photographic project a lot depends on your creativity and your technical approach.

Try to record images with very little background details. This is done for two main reasons; first they mostly monochromatic, with that being all white, thus not a strong color speaking in photographic terms and any other background which can show any other color will distract the viewer's gaze and secondly the idea is to showcase their beauty and "purity" by itself with nothing else in the "picture" as it were. if the water upon which they are gliding is very still you should try to record images which shows their reflection, almost like a double take.

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. | Source

A very worthwhile project is to feature images of swans that can be set against a main theme such as a wedding, a birth of a child, a romantic story or theme and so on.

For such projects there are many farms or breeders that have very domesticated swan specimens that can be used.

Other good images can be those that feature adult swans and their young, flying specimens, and scenes where they are interacting with people such as those featuring children. But it is never a good idea to approach any adult when it is caring for its young.

Even better if the children interacting with the swans are also dressed in white clothing, especially little girls in long white robes.

Whatever theme you choose to do the swan photos about, be as creative as possible and approach the project with an artist mindset.

You can also conduct the shoot with a poetic work in mind and fit the images around it.

Not just add photos of swans but try to make these images complement the work.

In other words, both the images and the written work seem to "need" each other in order for it to work and form a coherent piece.


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    • profile image

      Simon 6 years ago

      Mr Dennis,

      It is great for me to be seeing something like this kind of photo you send to my profile it gives me joy , i look unto the creature of the photo is so nice on looking always send me things like this okay i like it.

    • wheelinallover profile image

      Dennis Thorgesen 6 years ago from Central United States

      This hub showed some great ways to use swans in photographs. There are no swans locally so I will have to search for other subjects. Your ideas and the pictures you show are well worth sharing.

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Love all the great photos of swans you used in this hub,also great ideas and advice for taking photos of swans and if you are going to make it a theme project.

      I was just out today looking at the swans near my home,they are so beautiful !

      Vote up and more !!!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 6 years ago

      I can see by the photos how they represent eternal love. Their necks form a perfect heart. I love the beauty of this hub topic. Thanks for sharing.

    • Dina Blaszczak profile image

      Dina Blaszczak 6 years ago from Poland

      I've tried a few times to capture swans, but it wasn't as easy as I thought. I mean to show the swan's true beauty was difficult due to the surroundings. I hope I will have another chance in the future and will keep your suggestions in mind.