Kathy Murphy  


Swan Fight by Kathy Murphy

January 2021 - Swan Fight

About the Image(s)

This is an image of a swan fight that I took in Japan last February. There were a group of swans at Kuril Lake and a new flock came in and there was what seemed like a territorial dispute- dozens of swans honking and egging on the fighters- one acted as a referee to the two with a double head lock!

The image was taken at a focal length of 277mm, at ISO 125, 1/2000 shutter speed at F5.6. I would appreciate any suggestions for improvement- especially struggled with the white balance- would like to know if I got that right or need further adjustments. What about the composition? Any suggestions?


7 comments posted




Zina Mirsky   Zina Mirsky
I hope this resize works! The image you've captured is a magical moment in time and the clarity is astounding. I've just cropped it a bit in the foreground because the background clearly blurs what must be thousands of birds! I've increased contrast to make the feathers more readily identifiable from the ice but haven't done much else, not being skilled enough to 'improve' an already excellent picture to my eye.   Posted: 01/03/2021 13:56:32
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Kathy Murphy   Kathy Murphy
Thank you, Zina! Great suggestions....
Kathy   Posted: 01/03/2021 15:08:45



Witta Priester   Witta Priester
(Group 77)
This is a wonderful capture. Well done!   Posted: 01/05/2021 08:06:24



Robert Knight   Robert Knight
I think you have captured this very well. The symmetry is such that you could not have done better if you had been able to set it up. I agree with Zina's modifications largely because some of the rubbish in the foreground has been removed but I probably would have removed it all.   Posted: 01/09/2021 03:50:01



Elizabeth Warkentin   Elizabeth Warkentin
This is an interesting shot that really tells a story. I like the interaction between the two ducks fighting and the one at the back "refereeing". It's great that his head is up, his beak is open and his wings are flapping. A lot of action here and I can almost hear the noise. You captured a great moment. I think the white balance looks okay. It's hard with all that white. My only comments for improvement for next time is that you should probably have used a higher ISO, probably at least 1000, so that you could get a much faster shutter speed since there was a lot of action here and you don't want to miss a moment. You wanted all three birds in focus. I would also probably have used a smaller aperture, like f/7.1 or f/8, depending on your lens and on the amount of light you had to work with so that more of each bird would be sharp, including their eyes and feathers. I find it hard to know where to focus when there is more than one subject.   Posted: 01/10/2021 18:05:50



Kathy Murphy   Kathy Murphy
Thank you all for your comments. Good catch, Elizabeth, on the aperture. I wasn't paying enough attention:-(
  Posted: 01/11/2021 11:03:24



Bob Wills   Bob Wills
I know swans are naturally vicious critters and stay away from them as much as possible. The hospital I spend too much time at has two to keep away the pesky (and foul geese.) Quite a shot of intertwining necks, legs and feet. Focus, composition and exposure are very good. I don't like the strong vignette so much. There is a symmetry to their wings, but I wish the top bird's wing were reversed to make them more similar. Right place, right time.   Posted: 01/23/2021 16:45:12
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