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Dance of the Cranes

Dance of the Cranes
Copyright ©2006, Jens Birch
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The cranes (Grus grus) gather in large numbers at lake Hornborga in south Sweden for a huge dance party before continuing to their breeding grounds in the north. Yesterday the reserve wardens counted 8020 cranes at sunrise... and I was there :-)

In this posture, which is one part of their 'dance', the cranes are yelling an extremely loud trumpeting song that can be heard for many kilometers around. Other parts of the dance involves high jumps and fighting.

I liked the symmetry here so I thought I should share it with you guys.

Enjoy the performance! Jens.

(E-1, EC-14 teleconverter, Tokina AT-X 300/2.8, 1/1000 sec., f/5.6, ISO 200.)

Photographer: Jens Birch
Folder: Jens' Wildlife
Uploaded: 09-Apr-2006 09:40 CEST
Current Rating: 8.75/4
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Sharing: 1 time(s).
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Camera: Olympus E1
Exposure time: 1/1000 s
Aperture: f/5.6
Focal length: 420 (840mm)
Lens: Tokina AT-X 300/2.8 + ZD EC-14
Focusing method: Manual
ISO: 200
White balance: Auto
Flash: no
Image format: RAW
Processing applied: RAW development in Studio and finishing in PSP8. In this version of the image I have cloned out parts of three other birds disturbing the symmery. Normally, I'm not at all fond of doing such alterations but here I couldn't resist the temptation to trade some reality for beauty.
Image resized to: 676x900

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to witness this behaviour from these birds.
You made an excellent shot from it and I think you are very satisfied with it to add it to your collection.
The composition , the two birds in the centre and nothing around it works perfect for this.
IMO it's not wrong to clone something out when it is disturbing, you did an excellent job.....Thanks for sharing.


Fonzy - at 10:55 CEST on 09-Apr-2006 [Reply]


I love it! I play at a golf course where cranes walk the rough between some of the holes, and I've seen the mating dance on the course. It seems like every year they take their new baby and teach it to watch the players. They seem to enjoy it and nobody bothers them. It's a special feeling to get within a few yards of them, so your picture evokes feelings of that inside me.

Well done!


Jim Sabatke at 17:56 CEST on 09-Apr-2006 [Reply]

Dance of the Cranes

I usually try to avoid plain whites since to me it almost always suggest clipped highlights. This is a perfect example of where every part of the image is exposed just right. What an excellent composition and symmetry!

Sergey Green at 19:59 CEST on 09-Apr-2006 [Reply]


Very nice shot. I like it a lot.

Lee W at 00:38 CEST on 10-Apr-2006 [Reply]

ESpectacular !!!

I like very much your picture, excellent composition and postprocessing. You was fortunate, thanks for sharing this picture with us !!

Ricardo Rico at 17:56 CEST on 12-Apr-2006 [Reply]


Great moment

Udo Altmann at 08:16 CEST on 13-Apr-2006 [Reply]


Great Photo!!

Bruno Nardin at 16:46 CEST on 15-Apr-2006 [Reply]