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Mute Swans falling out with each other creating a perfect reflection on the Somerset Levels

Mute Swans on the Somerset Levels near Glastonbury in Somerset.

The weather was perfect as was the light, position of the sun, and the shallowness of the water allowing the darkness of the Mooreland peat to show through the still water.

This made the water appear black and perfect for the reflections I was looking for.

The overhanging trees and fauna helped keep the water black.

When the swans started falling out with each other, and chasing each other around the lake, it was just what I was hoping would happen.

For camera enthusiasts I used a Canon 400mm  F2.8 lens with a X2 converter making the lens a 800mm, the shutter speed was at shutter priority 500 set at Auto ‘but’ most importantly at –3 stops under exposed.

This exposure was an educated guess from experience as things happened so quickly there wasn’t time to set the camera exposure at leisure.

But with a pure black background and a pure white subject it could have been a disaster, If I had allowed the camera to set the auto exposure from the majority background of black, the swans would have been bleached white with no detail in their feathers at all.

Under exposing the image left the swans correctly exposed and made the background even darker for the desired effect.

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