I'm kind of busy trying to make a book deadline this week, so not much time for blogging. But I'm using this photo in one of my upcoming books and so I'll let a warm and fuzzy photo take the place of a photo lesson today. I shot this mute swan cygnet on the shore of the Housatonic River (near the mouth of the river) in Connecticut. I don't know why the story of the "ugly duckling" was based on a baby swan, they seem irresistibly cute to me. I shot this one in August of last year, so I'm guessing it's about 12 weeks old (they're typically born toward the end of May, beginning of June). The parents were just a few feet away from me keeping an eye on me (and my tripod) but I was able to get very close and to shoot several dozen frames. Mute swans are hugely powerful animals, but they are much less aggressive than people think; their posturing and hissing is mostly just a warning that you've crossed into their circle of safety. They are very good at setting a perimeter and will let you know when you've entered into their comfort zone.
Photo Notes: Photographed with a Nikon D90 with a 70-300mm Nikkor zoom lens. Exposure was 1/640 second at f/5, on a tripod.