Chew Valley Lake is a large artificial reservoir that provides much of Bristol’s water. It is fed by the River Chew at its southern end, where the river enters a pool that is channelled under a main road to flow on out into the main body of the lake.
The flow of the channelled water under the road is considerable. In the picture above, the water is flowing in from the left and down over a small concrete step, and the force of the flow over that step is producing waves and turbulence on the right.
And yet this little waterbird has passed through all of this aquatic turmoil with speed and consummate ease. Its wake, swept back around it by the force of the flow it is swimming against, is still visible, right over to the image’s right margin. Totally at home on the water, it has swum up and over that submerged step with complete unconcern. I was impressed.
Compositionally, the small submerged step forms a dark linear feature that bisects the image from lower left to upper right, and which is the boundary between the calmer water on the left and the turbulent water on the right. If this were a person swimming, they would be heading for a calmer, less hectic life.
The area of paler and relatively smooth water immediately behind the bird helps the image, I think, and it is real, i.e. not digitally induced.
D700 with 70-300 Nikkor at 300mm; 200 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Cool Tones 1 preset.