How I Got The Shot: ‘Swan Feet’

My photo of a swan's feet, in black & white

'Swan Feet'

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Swan Feet is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. Feel free to use the image on your site, as long as you include a link back to this page.

OK, it’s about time I actually show some of my photography, I suppose! Please bear in mind that I’m obviously not a professional photographer – I’m just learning, all the time learning, just as you probably are. So I’m not approaching this in a ‘wow, look at my amazing photo’ kind of way – far from it! Instead, I want to feature some shots that I’m just happy I’ve taken, and share with you some information on how I ‘got the shot’. Hopefully this will become a regular feature – as long as I take some more decent(ish!) photos I suppose…!

How I Got The Shot

Camera: Canon T1i
Lens: Canon EF-S 55 – 250 mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Shutter Speed: 1/160 sec
ISO: 800
Focal Length: 154 mm
Photoshop: Just black & white conversion

The Story Of The Shot

For me, the main thing that makes this photo stand out is because of its unusual viewpoint – a close up of swans’ feet is not your typical ‘swan’ kind of shot. I wanted to shoot something different, so I got down low, and, by using a relatively long focal length on my zoom lens of 154 mm, and a relatively large aperture of f/5.6, I achieved nice blur on the foreground/background – with the sharpness on the furthest away foot drawing the eye in nicely.

With the great textures of the feet and the ground, the photo really benefited by converting the shot to black and white in Photoshop. No cropping or anything else was done to it.

Critique The Shot!

What do you think of the photo? How could I have taken it better? Perhaps you would have used different settings, a different format or viewpoint – perhaps edited it differently in Photoshop? I’m just learning (hence the title of this website, ‘Learning The Light’!) so any thoughts or tips would be most welcome – just leave a comment below.


  1. Cherie /

    How would you have kept both feet in focus, yet blurred the cement in the foreground and background. I’m having a problem, when blurring photos, that the wrong things are blurring! Thanks so much. I am loving your site and learing lots!!

  2. Hi Cherie. If I’d used a smaller aperture/larger f-number, then more of the shot would have been in focus – but, you’re right, it would have been hard to still have more of the legs in focus without making the background sharper too… Thanks for your kind words about the site, glad you’re finding it helpful, and thanks for taking the time to leave some comments – much appreciated.

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