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Old Dec 25, 2009, 9:05 PM   #1
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Default Landing Ballet

I made my twice-a-year trek (Thanksgiving and Christmas) to photograph trumpeter swans near Heber Springs, AR this afternoon and was greeted with beautiful sunshine and at least one pair of swans who were determined to put on an example of synchronized landing techniques.

The approach:




Flaps down: (and one unconcerned observer)



Touchdown:





And modest nonchalance about another perfect performance:



Pentax K-7 and Sigma 50-500mm, ISO 500, 1/1600, f/7.1....shot in Av mode....9 shot burst

Paul
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Old Dec 25, 2009, 9:18 PM   #2
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All I can say is... WOW! Great series!
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Old Dec 25, 2009, 9:20 PM   #3
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Great capture. It helped that they were showing off for you!

Robert
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Old Dec 25, 2009, 9:25 PM   #4
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Outstanding! Lucky you!
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Old Dec 25, 2009, 9:49 PM   #5
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fantastic series of photo's - you must have alot of patience to wait for something like that but however long you have to wait getting shots like these make it all worth it

technical standpoint the exposure is spot on - and i always find shooting swans difficult

did you use matrix metering and a conpensation or just straight out of the camera?
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Old Dec 25, 2009, 10:19 PM   #6
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Penolta hit the nail on the head when he used the word "lucky." Flight shots were what I was really looking for this afternoon, but I only saw two birds in the air the whole time I was shooting. Fortunately, they came at a good angle for the light. I suspect the 35 degree temperatures and the fact that there were people throwing corn along one of the banks had a lot to do with most of the birds' reluctance to go for a flight.

John, I was using the matrix metering with no in-camera EV, although I really wished on most of the photos I took today that I had dialed in at least a - 0.3 or - 0.7 EV because I had a lot of blown highlights. The only post-processing was a little bit of unsharp mask and a crop to a 4:5 ratio.

Paul
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Old Dec 25, 2009, 10:24 PM   #7
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Very nice series! Shows the extra frames per second of the K-7 can come in very handy.
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Old Dec 25, 2009, 10:44 PM   #8
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Excellent shots ...
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Old Dec 25, 2009, 10:54 PM   #9
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Hi Paul,

Great series!!! Really well captured!

The photographer gets a 10!

The swans get a 9.5 -- slight deductions for slight synchronization faults in frames 4 & 6. I gotta stop watching those dance competition shows. . .

I've seen this so many times (not with swans though), but usually the angle is wrong, the lighting is wrong, but most often the nut behind the viewfinder wasn't fast enough. . .

Scott
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Old Dec 26, 2009, 11:49 AM   #10
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Dynamite!!!!!

What a great set of shots. Yes luck does play a part but your skills in tracking and capturing that action puts everything in place and makes it happen.

Patients is what it's all about in getting this kind of shot. Congratulation for yours and I know you will have many years of pleasure looking at these pictures.

Thanks for sharing them here.

Lou
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