Preening mute swan – Monochrome Madness


Swan floating while preeningClick on image for larger view.

This is my image for Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness, Week 18. Check out the link if you’re interested in seeing some great black and white shots.

I photographed this mute swan while I was in Geneva, Switzerland, last winter. There is always quite a collection of them along with various types of geese, ducks and of course, gulls. The water is so clear and pristine-looking that in the shallows they almost appeared to be floating on air.



Sunset fishing — 3 images

The evening was setting up for a good sunset, so I headed down to a small park that lies adjacent to a small estuary about a mile inland.   I found this great blue heron fishing along the low tide line and was lucky to capture him/her fishing back and forth on either side of the sun’s reflection in the water.

fishing heron silhouetted against reflection of setting sunsilhouette of heron catching fish, next to setting sun reflectionsunset view of heron fishing at low tide

Early morning geese — 2 images

Still on a blurred image roll, a waterscape this time. I did two from the same image, and like them both, but I can’t decide which one I like better. I get such a different feel from each of them, even tho the differences are not huge. I find the first one quite soothing, the second one not so much but I find my eye pulled into the image deeper. Any opinions?

intentional blur of 2 pairs of geese on pond with tree reflectionsClick on the images for larger view.

intentional blur of 2 pairs of geese on pond with tree reflections


MMC Mythical Horse Eye — B-W versus Color (3 images)

equine eye in color

I got such positive feedback from my first submission — eye of mythical horse — to the Monochrome Madness Challenge on Leanne Cole’s blog (thank you everyone who commented) that I thought I might post the color version of the same image, since I so love the color one. The image above is the original, sharpened a bit, standard levels adjustments, etc. applied, but no I didn’t crank up the saturation. On sunny mornings the light in this walk-through stall was always amazing…sun streaming through the door then bouncing off the pale red cedar walls and light-colored sawdust on the floor created gorgeous, warm and bright reflected light. With any light at certain angles, his eyes would appear to be lit from within, they were the same color as his glossy, vibrant red coat, which from a distance would also appear to glow from within. Combine the coat and eye color with the reflected light in this location, and the result was breathtaking. The ever-attentive eyes just enhanced it all. I’d like to take credit for capturing the colors, but to be honest it was hard to fail!

Here’s the black and white version again:


And below is the “artsified” version:

equine eye in full color, art version


Grasshopper — before and after

grassshopper on cosmos stem, texturedgrasshopper on cosmos stem

I shot this image against a metal barn wall and apart from sharpening it a tiny bit and warming up the too grey background I didn’t do anything to it. The original image came out of the camera looking like a botanical illustration and altho I was pleased with the grasshopper,  it all looked too sterile for my taste, and it wasn’t what I intended. So I took it into PS Elements and added a couple of textures and filters, played with the lighting, and came up with something a lot warmer.

Now it looks like an old oil painting instead. It’s not my usual style, but I think it’s an improvement over the original.

What d’you think??