Archive for April, 2008

The low down on the ducks – day 2

Posted in duck, photography on April 22, 2008 by overread

Just a quick update here – but I got a second day with the ducks! No rice, so I had to use fine gravel in my sock instead, but it worked very well! This time many more shots were in focus and sharp – though the ducks were all over the pond!
I have some new editing methods to try out soon so many of these will get a re-edit (when I have the time) and I can hopefully greatly improve the backgrounds in many of these shots!

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The low-down on the Ducks!

Posted in duck, photography, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on April 16, 2008 by overread

Well it has been a while since the last update and though I have been taking shots in the mean time, nothing has really stood out as amazing – but today I managed to at last get some boards down onto the pond and now I can take shots at water level! I decided to use a folded hat as opposed to my cushion in a binbag as the cushion was a little high for what I wanted in this case – it was fine for getting me above the grass on land, but water has nothing like that so I wanted to get as low as I could.

All taken with:
Cannon ESO 400D
Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro lens
For settings save pic to pc and review properties

The boards:
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Balanced on the bottom of a stone step and the edge of a concrete sandbag wall that we had to put into the pond all the way round to keep the banks stable – the birds were destroying the bank into a mudslick and that made it hard for them to get out of the water

Carolina Wood Duck

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Well I need to go back and turn a few of these so that the water is flat, one downside of resting on a folded hat – less structure to the support. I am really gald though to have got another (better) shot of him swimming directly towards me – it was an angle I got before and liked, but the original was never a good enough shot for me.

Mandrin

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Well one step forward and one back still – really got to get out of the habit of snapping and start taking shots. A good shot of the mandrin, but the bird in front really detracts from the overall effect – a little twisting needed on this shot as well.

Cuban Tree Duck

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This was a very intersting chap – standing on the concrete wall he was whistling rather than quacking and was looking right at me for a good while – so I took some head shots of him – a little work need in my composition, but I really like the background blurr that I got with these – a wonderful background.

Assortment:

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Overall I am really liking the effect this has done to my shots, the backgrounds have come up really well (considering I know what they look like in the clear sharp world!) though one person has suggested to me to blurr the backgrounds a little to remove distractions from them – something that I am keen to try. I always aim to get it right in camera, but I still have a long way to go and if a little work in photoshop can improve a shot then I will work on it to get there – but I will always know its a photoshopped result.

Well I learnt a lot from this first try:
1) I need a better support than a folded hat, way too many shots were blurry. I am thinking on using a sock stuffed with rice/beans tomorrow (weather allowing)

2) The evening light is not really ideal, I have to twist on the boards to get the light right, which leads to more wabble.