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The Swan Whisperer
Now, let me think. I don't really know how it all started. Taking photographs of Swans was never part of the remit, although it did develop into something that quite a few people associate me with, as far as photography is concerned. I remember a local photographer, Dave Fletcher, who once referred to my swan photographs as signature shots. I think he had a valid point, although I've never classed myself as a one-trick pony. No-one else in my region was doing this kind of shot, at least not on a regular basis. It did become a regular fixture for me, for a while, until I quietly slipped back into landscape mode...or was it astro...or low-light...who knows.
Nature photography was something I got into many years ago, when the days of 35mm film was the regular choice of most photographers. In my teens, I'd often photograph birds and their nests, which was a hobby that took me into the countryside and also to the coast. It was a seasonal thing, which ran from early Spring to late Summer. Out of season I'd be into other things, which was mostly football, until the nesting season came around again. I still have those photographs and probably always will. I don't have the heart to throw them out, as they're a reminder of my youth and a photography hobby that still continues today.
Fast-forward 40 years and here I am, still at it! Maybe this renaissance was a kind of second coming and, in hindsight, the best was meant to come...who knows. One thing is for sure. I simply went along and observed the swans in their natural habitat, as they done their daily thing. Living near to a local park, where dozens of swans had made their home, had its advantages, as you could get quite close to the birds without causing them any distress. The human element was something that the birds accepted, especially when food was on offer. It took a short while to develop a field craft, which would later come in handy when attempting to photograph these graceful birds.
Sunrise has always been my favourite time to photograph Mute Swans. Backdrops often make or break a photo, in my opinion. A fantastic colourful sunrise often gives that WOW factor to any shot and especially one where you have a lone swan or a pair of swans in your foreground. I think you'll find a few examples of this in my 'Swan Whisperer' galleries. This brings me nicely onto the title of those galleries and where it originates. From memory, I had posted quite a few of my Mute Swan shots on social media and they received a very warm response. Another local photographer, Gary Pescod, had obviously seen those photographs and promptly named me The Swan Whisperer. I was very flattered, at the time and I still am today. As in Horse Whisperer, here it is...
A person who tames or trains horses with non-aggressive methods, typically using body language and gentle vocal encouragement rather than physical contact.
I hope you enjoy viewing my Swan Whisperer galleries. The story continues, so please watch this space...
Swan Whisperer - Part 1
Swan Whisperer - Part 2
Swan Whisperer - Part 3
Swan Whisperer - Part 4