Arkansas, Leah J Smith Photography, low light, Photography, trumpeter swans, Waterfoul, wildlife

Bringing Together Light, Water and Action to Create A Dreamlike Illusion


Shooting action shots of an animal on the water is really exciting and can be a challenge in itself.  Bringing together light, water and action, can create an awesome effect in photography.  This series of shots of the Trumpeter Swans, right when the golden hour in photography was ending, was such a gift.  It happened at the most perfect time of day, with the most perfect subject any photographer could want, the Trumpeter Swan.

Each afternoon the swans always made an afternoon flight before nightfall.  I was setting and waiting for this to take place for hours and was just about to give up.  Since it was almost dark, I didn’t think the swans would fly.  I was beginning to believe that they had not intention of flying that afternoon.  Suddenly they were spooked by something and the bobbing of heads began.  The nervous swans gave me an indication that flight could take place any minute.  That is when something magical happened. That is when light, water, and action came together.

The loveliest thing about shooting around water is that every time you shoot,  something special and magical has a big chance of happening.  In this case it was  all dependent on the moving of the water, the light and shutter speed.  Shutter speed is so important when you are trying to capture a moving target.  Shutter speed refers to the length of time your camera shutter is open allowing light to enter.  The faster the shutter speed the less time the sensor is exposed to light.  This gives you different effects at different speeds.

The swans splashed on top of the water as they made their way across the pond.  Light hitting the water droplets shown like diamonds around the swans.   This gave my images a surreal look that captured the Trumpeter Swans in a dreamlike illusion.  I hope you enjoy photography magic……..










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low light, Photography

Low Light Photography

There are two hours in the day that photographers call the golden hours. These two hours are the first hour of daylight when light is first peeping its head up and becoming visible. The second golden hour is at dawn when the sun makes its last appearance and God takes his paint brush and paints the most stunning colors in the sky. These two hours are the golden hours of photography. This is when you want to be out there catching the light in your camera lens.

The photo above of the Trumpeter Swan was taken when the sun was shinning its last rays of light on the water and giving the swan a pink glow. It was such a magical hour and I hope to do it again someday when I can catch the light just right.

Magic can happen when you least expect it. When sun light hits the water it can cause some pretty awesome effects to happen in a photo. The swan above brings its head up from eating the grass on the bottom of the pond and shakes the water from its head. As the sun reflects off of the drops of water there is a magical array of droplets that surround its head.

The afternoon I took the above photo it was almost getting too dark to capture an image.  The Trumpeter swans were restless and decided to take flight.  I had capture the images in very low light.  This is what happens in low light photography at the the golden hour.  Droplets of water are reflected by what little is left of the sun.   Trumpeter swans dancing across the water with type of light gives you an awesome photo.

I hope you have enjoyed this little excerpt on the golden hours of photography.  I encourage your comments and love to hear each and everyone of them.  Until next time…

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