While I quite like this composition it’s marred by the fact that it was a very bright contrasty day and the camera, a Panasonic Lumix ZS3 suffered from the typical problems of a small-sensor camera including a low dynamic range. So the highlights on the swan’s back are virtually blown out. To make matters worse the camera was only capable of shooting in jpg (i.e. no RAW), which limited the possibility of recovering the highlights. What’s the lesson here? I suppose if I hadn’t been rushing I might thought a bit more about this possibility and under-exposed somewhat to preserve the highlights. It would have probably been easier to recover the shadow detail. Well – you live and learn. Hopefully if a similar situation arises I’ll do better.
Another possibility might be to add a significant amount of film grain, which to a certain extent masks the “blown” highlights – see below: