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Mute swan: Swans are photogenic birds. Their colour, bulk and form lend themselves to the frame, be it horizontal or vertical. But it has to be said that photographs of swans are often, well, just plain bland. This is not bland. This is dynamic. This is powerful. Mute swans perform a display known as busking, in which the wings are raised and the bird swims purposefully towards an intruder, be it another swan or a perceived threat. Here, the photographer, despite benign intentions, is the subject of this male swan's wrath. The bird has yet to reach the zenith of its assault, when its head will be drawn back between its wings, and so is in the perfect position for the vertical format: Light and colour ere ideal, but it is the camera position, achieved by the photographer wading mid-stream and getting his lens as close as possible to the water's surface, that provides the symmetry of reflection and strength of composition. Photographer: Russell Hartwell (UK). Winner at the BBC Photo Contest 1998