Reflections of a Swan Charge

This short article shares a selection of 10 consecutive images that feature water reflections of a swan charge as the bird raced in my direction.  All of the photographs were captured handheld using a combination of the E-M1X’s Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking and Pro Capture L technologies.

My intent was simply to fill the frame with this swan behaviour as best I could. As I heard the commotion erupt and the swan charge ensued, I was not consciously thinking about any potential reflections on the surface of the water that may have been visible. The reflections were a terrific bonus!

Rather than start photographing the swan immediately I tried to keep it centred in my composition as it approached. I adjusted the focal length of my M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS as the swan drew closer. If you check the EXIF data you’ll notice the changes in focal length.

Once the swan was in close enough I fully depressed my shutter release which then committed the frames stored in my E-MX’s temporary memory to my card.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS @ 169 mm, efov 338 mm, f/6.3, 1/1600, ISO-2000, Bird Detection AI, Pro Capture L, full frame capture, subject distance 36.4 metres
OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS @ 169 mm, efov 338 mm, f/6.3, 1/1600, ISO-2000, Bird Detection AI, Pro Capture L, full frame capture, subject distance 34.8 metres
OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS @ 169 mm, efov 338 mm, f/6.3, 1/1600, ISO-2000, Bird Detection AI, Pro Capture L, full frame capture, subject distance 33.6 metres
OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS @ 169 mm, efov 338 mm, f/6.3, 1/1600, ISO-2000, Bird Detection AI, Pro Capture L, full frame capture, subject distance 31.3 metres
OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS @ 169 mm, efov 338 mm, f/6.3, 1/1600, ISO-2000, Bird Detection AI, Pro Capture L, full frame capture, subject distance 28.5 metres
OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS @ 169 mm, efov 338 mm, f/6.3, 1/1600, ISO-2000, Bird Detection AI, Pro Capture L, full frame capture, subject distance 28 metres
OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS @ 150 mm, efov 300 mm, f/6.3, 1/1600, ISO-2000, Bird Detection AI, Pro Capture L, full frame capture, subject distance 27.7 metres
OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS @ 150 mm, efov 300 mm, f/6.3, 1/1600, ISO-2000, Bird Detection AI, Pro Capture L, full frame capture, subject distance 25.3 metres
OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS @ 150 mm, efov 300 mm, f/6.3, 1/1600, ISO-2000, Bird Detection AI, Pro Capture L, full frame capture, subject distance 25.3 metres
OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS @ 150 mm, efov 300 mm, f/6.3, 1/1600, ISO-2000, Bird Detection AI, Pro Capture L, full frame capture, subject distance 24.5 metres

One of the significant advantages of using Pro Capture L to photograph this type of action sequence is that a photographer doesn’t have to risk filling their buffer with non-essential frames. Once the desired action has occurred, the photographs can then be committed to memory.

Utilizing Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking meant that I could rely on my E-M1X to keep the swan in focus as it rapidly approached my shooting position. The swan settled down into the water almost immediately after the 10 consecutive photographs in this article were captured. The bird that was the focus of its ire had moved on. The last photograph in this article illustrates this action.

I have photographed a number of swan charges in the past. This was by far my best ever image opportunity of this type of action sequence with the swan being in so close to me.

Relying on my E-M1X’s Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking and Pro Capture L technologies concurrently allowed me to concentrate my efforts on image composition and timing.

Technical Note

Photographs were captured handheld using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. Images were produced from RAW files using my standard process. All photographs are shown as full frame captures without any cropping. This is the 1,075th article published on this website since its original inception.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS @ 138 mm, efov 276 mm, f/6.3, 1/1600, ISO-2000, Bird Detection AI, Pro Capture L, full frame capture, subject distance 15.9 metres

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2 thoughts on “Reflections of a Swan Charge”

  1. You’re a brave man, Tom.

    I recall once as a youth being chased up a tree by a goose–kept me there until some relatives intervened!

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