Rich Ditch's Photography Blog

March 19, 2009

Just Ducky

Redhead at Veterans Oasis Park

Redhead at Veterans Oasis Park

I don’t do a lot of duck photography here in AZ, and I did even less of it in NJ. Its not that I don’t find ducks attractive or interesting; its more that I’m still looking for a good way to compose shots that consist of just the duck and the water. Sometimes I get lucky enough to find a duck out of water, or get to work at a pond with interesting vegetation around the edges. But mostly I end up with just the duck and the water.

So, a lot of my attention goes to the look of the water, which is determined by what the sky looks like (water color comes mostly from reflection of the sky), and what might be making waves to disturb the surface.

The Redhead at the top of this post was photographed in early morning light at Veterans Oasis Park in Chandler, AZ. The sky was open and the reflected sky is rather pale. The light is over-the-shoulder “point your shadow at the bird” simple front light, so that’s mostly flattened the bird but also given a nice reflection of the duck in the foreground water. My crop/composition gives room at the bottom for the complete reflection, although it isn’t very coherent from the waves that disrupt the surface.

Ring-necked Duck female

Ring-necked Duck female

This female Ring-necked Duck was photographed at the Water Ranch in Gilbert, AZ. Its later in the day so the sun is higher and the light is not as “warm.” The water color is a darker blue from the reflected sky. It is still mostly a front-lit situation, so there’s a strong reflection of the duck. The water has less disturbance so the reflection holds together better.


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