Amazing photos of swans that you have to see. Read on to see how how photographer Simon Anderson got these pictures (it includes using a fish tank).
“I’m a keen amateur photographer who started at the early stages of digital with a 1-2 megapixel point and shoot.
“Immediately drawn to being able to see the pictures on the back of the camera screen, I soon started buying camera magazines looking at awe at the amazing pictures that photographers were creating. This started my passion for this wonderful pastime,” says Simon Anderson.
“I don’t specialise in a particular genre of photography, but am drawn to all types of picture taking, I try to be creative and different, which isn’t easy as there are so many talented photographers out there.”
Swan shots – wide angle
“I like entering photographic competitions to test my skills and to help push my creativity. So, my swan shots were taken for British Wildlife Photography Awards 2015.
“Knowing I couldn’t compete with photographers with super zoom lenses (which I didn’t have) I used my love of wide angle with my Sigma 10-20 to get something a little different and capture the eye of the judges.”
Getting the shot using a fish tank
“To get the ultra-wide angle close ups of the swans, I bought a small fish tank and placed my Nikon D7100 and two flashguns inside.
“My Nikon D7100 had its battery grip attached to give it extra height in the tank and was stuck to the base of the tank with Blu Tack to stop it moving about.
“The two Yongnuo 560 flashguns were placed either side of the camera, and set to their widest zoom settings and very low power around 1/64 – 1/128. They were to just add fill light and illuminate the swans. My Nikon D7100 was set to full manual including the focus.
“I guessed the settings and took some shots before I placed the camera in the fish tank, underexposing the scene slightly to try and make the swans pop.”
Simon, who is based in Eastbourne, East Sussex, UK, adds: “I focused at the shortest distance I could, then added a smallish f stop to create as much depth of field as possible. Combined with the extreme wide angle this allowed me to get focusing within a few inches. I attached a cable release to my Nikon D7100, which I held in my hand whilst holding the fish tank at the same time.
“I placed the fish tank into the water, which involved getting very wet and muddy knees but now was the trial and error with a little luck.
“My assistant (very understanding wife) threw bread just in front of the glass attracting the swans right up to my camera, I then fired the shutter using the cable release.
“The swans were very friendly and also inquisitive tapping the glass with their beaks, this made some very interesting and original shots. The only downside was droplets of water constantly on the glass which spoiled some of the images.”
“I was able to take quite a few shots as the flashguns were set to such a low power they recycled extremely quickly, also using 7dayshop 2900 high power recyclable batteries helped to keep them going without a hitch.”
7dayshop rechargeable batteries
“I was so impressed with 7dayshop rechargeable batteries, I bought enough to fill up my seven flashguns with backups if needed, so far I haven’t needed the back-ups which is a testament to their reliability and power.”
Click here to see the rechargeable batteries that Simon buys from 7dayshop – or click on the photo
“With regards to BWPA 2015 none of my swan shots were shortlisted but I did get a highly commended for a shot of a starfish which made it into their book.”
Here is a link to Simon’s social media accounts if you want to check out his work:
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