Photographing white birds is always problematic. This image even more than most.
The Swan was on the edge of dark shadows, from over hanging trees, and direct sunlight.
I had gone to this lake to shoot Swans and knew most photos from the day would be bad. It’s a place to just shoot and not worry about results.
The settings here were all based on the white of the bird. Since there were shadows behind him I assumed everything else would be almost black.
We shoot white birds, Egrets, all the time so this was based on an educated guess.
I will say most of the shoots were boring. A few, like this, caught the bird in a nice pose.
The hardest part about this photograph had nothing to do with a camera. I was standing in the middle of a place ducks liked to rest. Many ducks, it was hot, it smelled really, really, bad.