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Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Peace (Basic Editing)
Collection: Favorites - Ribbons
Camera: Canon EOS-40D
Lens: Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS
Location: Easton, CT
Date: Feb 18, 2008
Aperture: f/5.6
ISO: 640
Shutter: 1/350
Galleries: Nature, Animals
Date Uploaded: Feb 19, 2008

What a saga! The first thing that came to mind for Peace was 21.gif Alexsaberi's incredible swan photos. There's one reservoir on the outskirts of town that often has a wild swan or two swimming around, so I went there with high hopes. When I arrived, I found these two swans in a pretty good spot... and a very intimidating, shady looking dude glaring at me from the edge of the water (bear in mind I'm 6'4"). Hmm... and I left my cell phone at home... sound familiar? I decided to drive around a little while, but he was still there and the sun was rather strong so I bagged it until golden hour. When I went back (it's a 20 minute drive each way), the swans had moved out of sight behind some trees and there are no trespassing signs everywhere around the reservoir. Grrr... I decided to try again at the crack of dawn.

OK, so I go out there at 7am in 16 degree weather and the swans are on the far side of the reservoir... sound asleep. Perfect... two nondescript white blobs in the distance, and the forecast calls for rain later in the day. I surrender. Time to find a new idea.

The next morning, I wake up to FOG! Yeehaw! I dash off to the reservoir and find the swans actively feeding in a good spot. Unfortunately the fog had mostly lifted, the water was very choppy and I couldn't get down to a low angle without trespassing. I spent the next few hours running back and forth along a bridge trying to catch the swans together with their heads up (a rarity). I was hoping for crisp detail, but these guys were about 75-100 meters out. They were moving around fast enough to make tripod use cumbersome, and my 1.4X teleconverter won't autofocus at 400mm. This is the best I could do handheld with just the 400mm in the cold wind and mist.

So anyway, I get home and read the challenge description again. Uh, oh... looks like the topic isn't so much "peace in general" as it is as sort of zen-like inner harmony (human). Bah! Too late to shoot a new idea, so this is it. Probably a sub-6 DNMC target, but after all that effort, it's getting entered dagnabbit!

Processing: Convert from RAW, boost/shift the blues and cyans, lighten the yellows several times to get the necks whiter, Channel Mixer for saturation, Noise Ninja, Levels, Curves, USM and added border.

Statistics
Place: 3 out of 149
Avg (all users): 6.9534
Avg (commenters): 7.8519
Avg (participants): 6.6458
Avg (non-participants): 7.0319
Views since voting: 7183
Views during voting: 391
Votes: 236
Comments: 53
Favorites: 8 (view)


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AuthorThread
03/04/2008 08:56:32 AM
getting peace takes effort it prooves :D
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/01/2008 01:11:21 PM
congrats. it's a beautiful image. great use of negative space and lovely tones.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/29/2008 07:26:48 AM
Beautifully done. The dark background makes the bright yellow bills and white stand out nicely.

After trying to photograph birds on the water, I have a new appreciation for just how hard it is to do well, and this is beyond well, well into excellent.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/28/2008 02:42:35 PM
I like the photo, but the story that goes with it is even better. I find shots are more memorable when the photographer takes puts some detailed comments in about how and why the shot was taken - you get an idea of the effort involved and appreciate the photo all the more.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/28/2008 01:46:03 PM
How did you get the water so blue?
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/28/2008 12:51:02 PM
This photo is simply splendid. Congrads.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/27/2008 08:49:28 PM
Wonderful shot!! Love the story behind it as well. Congrats
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/27/2008 07:04:57 PM
I so admire your perseverence in getting this shot- you deserve a medal- forget the damn Ribbon :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/27/2008 05:08:52 PM
Ah, so many people go by the challenge name only, and not the challenge description. Plus, I think this picture evokes a sense of zen-like inner harmony anyway. So you were definitely good for this challenge. :-) That color blue is just amazing... really lovely.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/27/2008 03:49:27 PM
This should give you peace of mind,congratulations.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/27/2008 12:40:14 PM
"...They were moving around fast enough to make tripod use cumbersome..."

I use my monopod a TON with a ballhead on it ... much more freedom to move.

Congrats Shannon ... well done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/27/2008 12:10:34 PM
Conveys peace perfectly I think - Congratulations on the ribbon Shannon.

  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/27/2008 12:04:15 PM
Love the story and the photo turned out beautifully. Very peaceful quality to it, and of course the blues are always appealing. Glad to see your efforts pay off in a great way...not just with the ribbon, but with a wonderful photo in its own right.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/27/2008 10:51:46 AM
"I see the crystal raindrops fall
And the beauty of it all..."

Nice. I think I need more swans in my life.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/27/2008 04:28:24 AM
Oh man you are good! I love your explanations! Makes me feel like I was there! You weren't chased home by a crazy man in a car were you?! ;-)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/27/2008 04:19:43 AM
beautiful picture,well done,congratulations
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/27/2008 02:56:33 AM
LOL - the things we go through to get our shots. Glad you didn't try shooting near the shady guy, or we'd be having a Save Scalvert tournament next...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/27/2008 12:56:43 AM
I'll probably have that song in my head all day now ;-) Tremendously beautiful image. Congrats, Shannon.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/27/2008 12:39:49 AM
awesome swans. and quite an amusing story to go with it. and I really like the blues.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/27/2008 12:31:46 AM
Congrats on the yellow...after all you went through you deserve a ribbon.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/27/2008 12:20:37 AM
WTG Shannon! This shot has such a beautifully tranquil feel.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/27/2008 12:05:39 AM
I thought you retired? :P Congrats on the yellow.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/27/2008 12:04:56 AM
Congratulations! Well deserved.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
02/26/2008 10:59:23 PM
very nice 8
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/26/2008 05:00:21 PM
Beautiful image. I love the serenity and companionship of the two swans, in matching, side-by-side poses. Lovely cool blue tones too.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/26/2008 02:42:41 PM
Simple dramatic composition, I'm a sucker for some negative space like this.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/26/2008 04:30:48 AM
This is such a great image! So peaceful... one of my top votes!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/25/2008 10:33:53 PM
Sweet and emotive. Such a beautiful contrast with the two white birds against the blue background. Very peaceful indeed.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/25/2008 10:54:24 AM
This is one of my favorites. Love the sharpness on the geese and how they pop out from the background. There are some compression artifacts in the background towards the upper edge but that's a nit. Very well done
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/25/2008 10:27:03 AM
This photo colaborates its values and balance well to make a great photo
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/25/2008 09:57:22 AM
A very nicely done picture. The swans are very well balanced and of course peaceful.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/24/2008 09:09:48 AM
Good photo with great contrast and value between the swans and their surrondings.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/23/2008 09:53:34 PM
Nice, I like the blue/black tones and the black/blue border works good for me, the composition of the swans is a nice break to the foreground and balances the tree in the background very nicely,
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/23/2008 03:41:29 PM
I wish the swans were a little more in focus. Other than that this is a lovely photo.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/23/2008 02:32:45 PM
Sweet shot with lovely color and composition. Back to bump you up to 8.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/22/2008 10:10:36 PM
good representation of peace. Nice composition and colors.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/22/2008 09:30:31 PM
Very pretty, I like everything about this one.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/22/2008 09:09:53 PM
This is a beautiful composition, I love how the swans stand out
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/22/2008 03:09:56 PM
Oh, this is absolutely perfect! I IMMEDIATELY liked it when it came up on screen, which is a very good indicator for your score (many voters usually don't slow down much).

Wonderful composition. The colors work great together. The swans are right on in positioning, as are all technicals (focus, lighting, etc...).

If I could give this an 11 I would! Very nice piece of work. Congrats!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/22/2008 11:34:25 AM
a good picture, but there is just to much space in the upper left corner.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/22/2008 11:22:52 AM
Awww sweet. Nice Picture :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/22/2008 09:07:29 AM
I like the colours and the swans stand out really well
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/21/2008 05:43:30 PM
I love this. It looks a bit stormy rather than peaceful but the two swans are certainly peaceful.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/21/2008 10:06:26 AM
great use of rule-of-thirds..the blue is really peaceful
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/21/2008 09:59:58 AM
Fantastic image. The hazy soft blue of the water is the perfect background for the contrast of the white birds. And the little splash of color of their bills is wonderful.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/21/2008 09:17:21 AM
Great shot with excellent clarity.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/21/2008 09:09:54 AM
A beautiful image! Peace among a foggy, stormy day!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/20/2008 10:54:27 PM
Very nice use of negative space. I like the detail in the swans a lot as focus on them is very good.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/20/2008 07:19:44 PM
Nice. The muted blues, foggy look and the composition make for a very peaceful scene.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/20/2008 04:57:59 PM
Very cool! I love the contrast between the swans and the blue serene environment. deserves a top 10 at least! 9
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/20/2008 12:50:03 PM
I'm not sure why the background looks so dark and stormy... Otherwise this is the best I've seen so far (and I'm nearly half done).
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/20/2008 10:53:43 AM
Beautiful shot and great border.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/20/2008 06:10:36 AM
Stunning........
  Photographer found comment helpful.


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