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Fighting for survival
Fighting for survival

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Best of 2004 (Advanced Editing III*)
Camera: Canon EOS-10D
Lens: Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
Location: Akureyri, Iceland
Date: Aug 9, 2004
Aperture: 4
ISO: 400
Shutter: 1/4000
Galleries: Nature, Animals
Date Uploaded: Jan 8, 2005

I am not sure this is my best shot 2004, I donīt want to sound arrogant but there are literally dozens or even hundreds of shots I could have chosen from.

However, this is one that is the most memorable to me and the shot that I am most proud that I took since itīs so different from what I normally shoot. I have never before or after seen swans act this way. We were on summer vacation at Akureyri and decided to go out for a walk with our then 20 months year old son to go feed the ducks at a local pond. It was fun, and while they were throwing bread to the ducks and swans and seagulls I was taking pictures and all of a sudden these two swans just out of the blue bite down on this seagull like they were trying to eat it. He seemed to struggle for his life and I instinctively just started snapping away, getting about 5-6 shots and this is the last one in the series, and the most powerful one in my opinion because I at least see the desperation in the eyes of the seagull as he is trying to get away. Moments later they let him go and he flew away, seemingly unscathed but I was pretty shocked and have never since looked upon swans the same way.

Anyway, used ambient lighting. I didnīt frame this well, I know itīs a bit tight. The seagull was in the dead center of the original and there were lots of room to the bottom and the right so I felt the need to crop it heavily but itīs otherwise untouched unless you count white balance and contrast+sharpness.

On a side note it is taken at my wifes birthday.

Place: 271 out of 530
Avg (all users): 5.5976
Avg (commenters): 7.6667
Avg (participants): 5.5796
Avg (non-participants): 5.6506
Views since voting: 1778
Views during voting: 494
Votes: 328
Comments: 13
Favorites: 3 (view)

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02/01/2005 01:08:27 AM
I can't believe this didn't place higher. I think people were traumatized by the subject and didn't vote according to the quality of the photo. I was horrified, but amazed at the same time when I came across this one during the voting process. My mother has always told me that swans are vicious, but this was the first time I'd seen proof.

I was one of the 6 who gave this image a 10 and I'm truly saddened that so many others felt they had to vote it down. It's a brilliant capture worthy of National Geographic (at least).
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
01/31/2005 11:29:29 PM
Awesome timing!, I have never seen anything like it, great action aswell as stopped motion, a very unique photograph :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/31/2005 01:38:17 PM
what is going on here?
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/31/2005 12:32:38 PM
Powerful and emotive shot. Well seen and captured. Though I don't (and suspect most others) care to see animals in harm's way, it is nature and it's balance. Well Done. ((7))
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/22/2005 09:28:06 PM
holy smokes! how do you just happen upon things like this? and dontcha just love being able to nail the image when the opportunity strikes? simply incredible. thanks for sharing. i just hope this doesn't get lost in the shuffle of this huge challenge. good luck!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/19/2005 12:23:10 PM
Great catch. For you and the bird.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/18/2005 11:57:17 PM
I think this is an incredible photo, I could easily see this on the cover of National Geographic. If I could vote this an 11 I would.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/18/2005 07:16:59 AM
Jeez! Not a pleasant photo to look at, but very provocative and emotional. Hope it ended ok for the wee fella. 8
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/18/2005 01:31:57 AM
Cruel! Bump up.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/17/2005 07:27:56 PM
Perpect timing to capture this Great JOB
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/17/2005 02:42:45 AM
Interesting scene. THough the colours are a little dull - it makes it hard to see the action, maybe try a closer crop.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/16/2005 05:41:24 PM
Fight fight fight fight, i think i can guess who won.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/16/2005 06:32:57 AM
I bet this will get hammered for its miserable subject but this is a rare and excellent capture. Brave submission and it deserves a decent rating.
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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