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Swan Lake Ballet

Swan Lake Ballet
Photo Information
Copyright: Silke Force (Silke) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 729 W: 98 N: 1707] (5458)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-05-10
Categories: Birds, River
Camera: Nikon D70S, Sigma 18-200 mm (F3.5-6.3), Sigma UV 62 mm
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/250 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2007-07-31 6:24
Viewed: 3992
Points: 34
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
These two swans did something I had never seen before and perhaps you folks will be able to enlighten me.

As you can see by the odd curl of water in front of the shoulder of the foremost swan, they were turning in deliberate circles, creating a circular wake (a mini-whirlpool). They both turned in absolute unison, clockwise as in this shot and then counterclockwise a few minutes later, still in perfect unison!

Any explanation for this unusual ballet would be appreciated

Shot on a heavily overcast day, in RAW at a relatively high speed to freeze the action, converted to jpg, cropped by 50% and resized

Thanks once again for your feedback on the photo and on the unusual (to me) behaviour.

marhowie, uleko, PaulH, gracious, jmp, mlines, pablominto, pierrefonds has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To juanjo: Great WSSilke 1 09-30 13:23
To jmp: Wow!Silke 1 07-31 11:53
To jmp: British lightSilke 1 07-31 11:52
To PaulH: locationSilke 1 07-31 08:41
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Silke,
Most birds use a series of behaviors to reinforce the bond between the mated
pair..Maybe this explains it, not sure..
Glad to hear you have made a good recovery from the CTS, that keyboard can do a number on you over time. I like the wide frame, good POV & details. Perhaps slightly under exposed a bit.
Well done.

Hi Silke
I'm not a swan expert but I would say it's a bonding or mating ritual. I love the way they arch their necks, a beautiful pose. Nicely done.
TFS Janice

Joli binôme qui joue un joli balet.
Bonne journée.

Excellent portrait of the birds. Good sharpness. I like that intense look.
Best wishes,

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-07-31 7:59]

Hello Silke,
Beautiful well-timed shot of these two swans in tandem. Sharp details and good colours in spite of the poor light.
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2007-07-31 8:01]

Hi Silke,

You caught this beautiful pair at a wonderful time in exactly the same positions. The shapes of their necks is marvelous. You did a good job even under bad conditions. Just lovely.


  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2007-07-31 8:30]
  • [+]

Hi Silke,
alas i am no expert either, but the explaination that Howard and Janice offered seems to be the most likely. I like the similar positions of these two and their obvious bond that they have...i'm curious as to where in Southbourne you shot this?!

Hi Silke,
Really wonderful view of these smart swans. I like composition and I agree with Howard that it maybe a litte under exposed, though I don't know how is the Brithish light :-)
I'm not an expert at all with software for photo edition, but I have made a "amateur" color correction. I hope you like it!
TFS, José M.

  • Great 
  • mlines Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 556 W: 26 N: 668] (3116)
  • [2007-07-31 16:17]

Hi Silke. Well seen and recorded. It looks like some sort of mating ritual? Well focussed and presented. Murray.

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-07-31 20:25]

Hello Silke

It was a private display of ballet just for you.Shh don't let their secret out or the international news machine will be hounding them.A lovely composition of these two.The motion is captured and very gracefully.The details and focus are very good.Very well done despite the overcast sky.TFS


Hello Silke,
Must have been great to witness such a behaviour!
And with a ready camera in hand, resulting in this fine image!
Birds are well exposed and the presentation is perfect!
Pablo -

Hello Silke,
Great exposure and focus in your captured here!
I liked the soft-toned light that really matching the pair!
good clarity with details too
well composed and well seen

Belle photo de ce couple de cygnes, qui forment souvant le signe 22, bonne netteté et bons détails malgés le faible éclairage. Amitiés Thomas

Wish my husband would dance with me! ha ha
Great shot and fascinating behavior you've pointed out.

Hi Silke,

A nice image of the swans, the photo has agood composition, sharpness and nice colors. Thanks for sharing.


  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2007-08-04 4:49]

Swan Lake Ballet. Quite sweet to think the couple have their own dance - like we often have our own song...
Well done

hello Silke

lovely picture very well composed with two lovely swams in the same position

regards jjo

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