Wildlife and Spring Flowers by Swan Lake (SX50)

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VisionLight
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Wildlife and Spring Flowers by Swan Lake (SX50)
3 months ago

Projects have kept me busy, both away from photography and off this forum for the last few weeks, but I have been trying to catch up and comment on some of your recent posts today. There's not time for everybody's though, but I have been enjoying all your work. I also gave myself off last Monday because it was a beautiful Spring day, and I went down to the lake for an afternoon hike to see what Nature had in store. The light varied from full sunshine to wispy clouds, but had a beautiful quality all day, and Nature provided ample opportunities to celebrate it. And as usual I met many people along the way, we shared the images we were capturing, talked photography or life in general, or just enjoyed the peaceful environment that is this natural preserve.

These were the scenes that most captured my eye that afternoon:

Though Spring is very late this year, the gardens by the entrance road are finally getting into the color and promise of the season.

Many of the lily pads are still forming below the surface, but some have begun to open and will soon be blanketing edges of the shoreline along the lake.

A Giant Blue Heron flew in and perched above the lake, looking for the best spot to go fishing for a late snack.

The passage between the islands in the lake is shallow and looked promising with fish near the surface.

SUCCESS! Not a good day for the fish in the face of a skilled hunter. In the time it took to press the shutter, the heron quickly moved the fish from the tip of its beak to the middle in this single exposure. When the viewfinder returned, the fish was gone from sight, a tasty meal.

A nearby cormorant, drying off its feathers from its first dive, is already spying the lake for its next snack.

There were plenty of Painted Turtles relaxing on the flotsam. Most people missed this scene blended into the tree reflections on the water, and were surprised when I showed them this image they had just passed.

In the sunshine further out on the lake, this group were easier to notice.

I almost missed these tiny blooms hidden in the undergrowth right on the shore, but was able to capture them with the camera on the ground (and me in the mud) with the telemacro and extended LCD.

As I got ready to leave and head home, this friendly Mallard swam right over toward me to say good night. Perched where I was on the shore, I was trying to not join it in the lake as I captured the image.

All images were captured in shutter priority mode and are transfers from raw. Some have almost no post processing except for the conversion to TIFF and then jpeg (the lily pads, the second heron image, the cormorant, and the mallard). Both turtle images were corrected to remove the blown spectral highlights from the water reflected on their shells. The first and third heron images were corrected for the contrasty bright sunlight and to bring out the feather detail. Both flower images were also worked on for to reveal the light and detail. However, all final images show the colors and light that my eye saw when captured and wanted portrayed as a true celebration of Nature in her beauty.

I hoped you enjoyed my images from an afternoon by the lake. As always, your comments are welcome.

Ed

 VisionLight's gear list:VisionLight's gear list
Canon PowerShot S100 Canon PowerShot SX40 HS Canon PowerShot SX50 HS Canon EOS 5D Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM +4 more
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