On this trip we visit the main island Honshu to photograph the snow monkeys, and we visit the Northern island Hokkaido to photograph Japan's spectacular birdlife; white-tailed eagles, Steller's sea eagles, the endangered Japanese cranes, and whooper swans. The swans can also be photographed outside of Japan, but nowhere do you get to shoot them with such stunning scenery and backdrops as on Hokkaido. We visit this great lake that freezes over in winter, except for a few parts close to shore where warm water from natural hot springs runs into the lake. Obviously, the swans like to swim there, and as the rest of the lake is frozen, there are many swans in a few relatively small areas - perfect for photographers.
On this particular morning the conditions were very good - a crystal clear sky with a good view of the mountains in the background, fog, some soft sunlight, and a lot of swan activity. We got flocks flying low over our heads, fly-by's, landings, take-offs, wing flapping and dancing.
What I like about this shot are the different activities all in one image; sitting, sleeping, flying, landing and calling (the one on the far right in the distance).
If you would like to join me on our next White & Wild Japan workshop, please check out my website for more information, pictures and tour impression video clips:
Hope to see you there!
©2012 Marsel van Oosten, All Rights Reserved
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