Thanks for the compliments!!
What I meant by selectively burning is what we used to do when developing film in a dark room, only now you do it much easier and faster in photoshop. This technique is what made Ansel Adam's photographs look so striking and pop out.
What burning and dodging does is allow you to lighten up certain sections of your image, while keeping other sections the same exposure. Not all images is this accomplished easily, but on Hugh's shots of the swan, I think you could just Burn ( = Darken) the head of the swan so it is not blown out. Dodge ( = lighten) is the opposite and would make s specific section of the image become lighter.
Dont know how to tell you how to do this in Photoshop without taking up an hours time, but there are plenty of tutorials and books that will go into hours of detail about this subject. That was just the quick and dirty