The Waterfowl – in the snow!

Well this morning I awakened to a world of white – snow had come for the first and only time this year – and it was a little late ;). However knowing that the snow would most likley be gone before too long I hurried out with my camera to get some shots of the ducks – this time around I also used a new idea to get lower shots of the ducks – a cushion in a bin bag (to keep it dry). This I used to get some very nice low down shots of the ducks when they were on land; the pond being too boggy to lie down on the bank of.
To add a little extra something to the shots I also went out when it was still lightly snowing, and as my camera has no weather sealing my sister was given the brolly and given orders to keep the camera dry – it was time well spent I and managed to get some very good results!

Cannon EOS 400D
Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro lens
Tripod (water shots)
Cushion in a bin bag (land shots)
For settings save pic to pc and review properties

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The view outside from the sitting room – still in the warm here!

First the land shots with the bin bag – I moved around the garden quite a bit with this, getting different angles and background, though I admit I was not very selective with backgrounds, still very much focusing just on the bird.

Emperor Goose
Emperor Goose
Well, whilst the snow was not too much trouble with the camera, the whites on this bird were – a little more experimentation to get those whites not to overexpose needed.

Cinnamon Teal Drake
Cinnamon Teal Drake a Cinnamon Teal Drake b
Two shots showing that timing can be everything – these were taken frames apart, and each has its strong and weak points. The first has the best focus on the bird, even with unsharpen mask there is a difference in the sharpness of these two shots – however it also has an out of focus twig covering the breast of the bird (though it appears that I am often the only one to notice this. The second whilst having a wonderful pose and no vegetation in the way and being of good sharpness is just not as naturally sharp as the first.

Baikal Teal Drake
Baikal Teal
A great shot (if I do say so myself) and yet not all good as this poor fella is not in the best of health at this time – you can tell this by the wet feathers on him showing that either he is not preening or that his oil gland is not working. This can be a big problem if he takes to water and gets waterlogged – he will drown in the pond. Thankfully this has not happened and he is now recovered.

White-faced Tree Duck
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A hiding in the woods is — a tree duck! Despite the vegetation in the way this is still a shot I like – the pose is interesting.

Puna Teal
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Sometimes I was shooting up hill and this did mean that I got far more snow in my shots than I would have liked – however partly I put this down to lack of practise with a cushion in the field.

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These two were very calm with me around and let me get close enough to get these two shots of them – this time not using the cushion.

Red Breasted Goose
Red Breasted Goose
A nice shot of the bird, the only thing really detracting is the bird in the background – but it does show off the snow that was starting to fall at this time – just as I was about to head to the pond

On the Water

Australian shell duck – female
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Well the background in this is nothing special, infact its rather poor in most respects, but the bird has come out a real treat – the lighting was right to get her eye without the surrounding black swallowing up the detial

Laysan Teal
Laysan Teal

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Two nice shots, but still showing my tendency to focus in on the bird and not let there be any surrounding space for the shot – something that I still have to learn to pay attention to.

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A good frontal shot and here I don’t mind the lack of space – its not really needed as the bird is going towards the camera.

Pochard Drake
Pochard Drake
Here is a shot showing a better background view – the bird is not cramped into the shot and has a place to be heading to.

Chilian Teal
Chilian Teal
Best for third last of the duck shots – this is one shot that I am very proud of taking and am also very glad that it came out so well.

Drive by Shooting

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Well so show that the snow really would not be hanging around for long at all here is a driving shot taken of the sky on the same day – note the ground the total lack of any snow at all! Not the greatest sunset shot ever taken, but its an area that I have not really done much in at all so its nice to have one or two passable shots.

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And the final shot – a barn owl in flight; even though its certainly got room for improvement I think this came off well when shooting at a fast moving target from a car window whilst moving.

ps – I was not driving 😉

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