Whump-whump-whump was the sound that I was hearing while sitting on the edge of Henry’s Pond (at Pebble Beach in Rockport, Massachusetts) watching for mallards to land. At first, I thought I was hearing a noisy truck driving down the dirt road that separates the beach from the pond. As it grew louder, I turned to look towards the road. I was amazed to see a pair of swans flying very low, overhead. This is the pair of swans that inhabits Henry’s pond all summer and the ones that I had been photographing with a cygnet in late spring (see post on Proud Parents). They had been in the ocean by the beach just minutes earlier and had decided that it was time to return to the pond. I stared in awe as I watched the pair fly in formation, one next to the other, low enough that the whump-whump was growing louder.
They circled overhead once, which gave me just enough time to take a deep breath and position my camera for the landing. I was hand-holding my Canon 7D with the 100-400 mm lens and was able to follow them in my viewfinder (firing continuously) as they swooped in on final approach and landed about 150 feet in front of me. I was able to photograph most of the entire sequence, but unfortunately, in the excitment of the moment, I focused on the first swan that came into view, which turned out to be the futher one. This resulted in the nearer swan being slightly out of focus. I did not have enough depth of field to include the closest swan – damn. Depth-of-field extends 1/3 in front of the focal point and 2/3 behind the focal point. Next time I will need to think about adjusting the focus to the nearer subject.
As a wildlife photographer, I see wildlife events that most people never experience. Witnessing the landing of a pair of swans in formation is very unusual (my first time) and very exciting. I am happy to share this event.
~ by richardseeley on October 29, 2010.
Posted in Photo Adventures, Stories
Tags: "depth-of-field", adventure, animal, autumn, beach, bird, dof, duck, elegant, flying, formation, glide, gliding, graceful, henry's pond, landing, landscape, life, love, massachusetts, mute, nature, ocean, pair, pebble, pond, rockport, scenic, swan, touchdown, vertebrate, water, wet, white, wild, wildlife, wing, wingspan