Adult Tundra Swan – White On White

Tundra Swan in a near white out, Antelope Island State Park, Davis County, UtahTundra Swan in a near white out – Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 500, +1.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

This Tundra Swan photograph was taken in February of 2013 from the causeway to Antelope Island State Park where a small flock of Canada Geese and several Tundra Swans feeding in some puddles that weren’t completely frozen over while some of the others swans and geese rested or stood around on the snow covered flats adjacent to the Great Salt Lake. There was a fog, falling snow, low light conditions and my subject was a white bird on a field of white. Just a tiny wisp of sunshine was getting through the clouds overhead which was barely enough to cause a shadow.

Some of the Tundra Swan photos I took that day in near white out conditions were flat and unappealing to my eyes but some of them I really liked because of the white bird on white snow. I remember in art class in school my art teacher had the class sketch a white egg on a white table cloth and I recall that it wasn’t an easy assignment to do at all but it did teach me about using my pencil to apply subtle shading. The only bits of color in this Tundra Swan photo are the yellow spot near the swan’s eye and the slight tinge of rusty staining on the swan’s neck. I always think of swans as pure white but they don’t look quite as white when they are in a field of snow.

Over the years since I took this photograph and images of the Canada Geese that were nearby that day I have wished to have the same kind of weather conditions with swans, geese, ducks and other birds because I liked the way the images turned out. Although we are now getting less snow in the valley than when I first moved here I keep hoping that I’ll have that chance again because it was fun and challenging.

Life is good.



  1. Patty December 5, 2018 at 1:47 pm - Reply

    Picture perfect! Those geese are almost cream compared to the snow

  2. Marty K December 1, 2018 at 7:35 pm - Reply

    Striking image! Gorgeous!

  3. Pepe Forte December 1, 2018 at 6:12 pm - Reply

    Surreal. Beautiful. Perfect. Thanks Mia.

  4. Utahbooklover December 1, 2018 at 2:29 pm - Reply

    Wonderful image for the season Mia. Thanks for posting.

  5. April Olson December 1, 2018 at 10:46 am - Reply

    It is a beautiful photo. I hope you can see more too.

    I haven’t gone out much, between the weather and depressing sights of injured birds due to hunting. Maybe the wildlife rehab has honed my eye to focus on the injured instead of the beauty. Life is hard enough in the wild with out people shooting at you!

  6. Bruce Grosjean December 1, 2018 at 10:23 am - Reply

    Wonderful image – and a real exposure challenge!

  7. John sherrill December 1, 2018 at 9:01 am - Reply

    Very minimalist! Very beutiful! The yellow eye is great .i was trying to figure out your EV corrections.i like the fact that you include them. The only negative of archive pictures is that it mens that nothing much is going on right now.John

  8. Bob mcpherßon December 1, 2018 at 8:35 am - Reply


  9. Liz Cormack December 1, 2018 at 8:16 am - Reply

    OMGosh. The more I look at the photo the more I like it. Stark yet peaceful, somehow.

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.