This image reached the Final Round of judging for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 57 collection
Graceful feather preening of a Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) bathed in afternoon side rear lighting. While meandering through the park of Grangettes Nature Reserve (Switzerland) by La Praille pond, the photographer came across this lone swan totally immersed in a thorough preening session. The photographer was drawn by the graceful twist of the swan’s neck and the soft pinkish-orangey glow of light cast by its beak as the swan preened its wing feathers, which gave the scene a painterly effect against the dark background. The side rear lighting was quite useful to reveal the texture of the feathers but it was so strong that it required manual exposure to delimit the useful dynamic range of the camera.