Rich Ditch's Photography Blog

December 22, 2010

Eared Grebe Background Comparison

Filed under: Birds, comparisons, favorite places, Gilbert Water Ranch — richditch @ 5:15 pm
Eared Grebe

Eared Grebe

Spending as much time as possible with a cooperative subject can be rewarding. This Eared Grebe spent many days on Pond 6 at the Gilbert Water Ranch, and I made multiple visits to improve my chances of getting good images.

Eared Grebe

Eared Grebe

As with all the impoundments at the Water Ranch the water level can change from day to day it is moved around according to some complicated reclamation strategy. When the water level is low in pond 6 (what we call “maintenance” level) the birds using the pond are more restricted in their range and spend more time within camera distance of photographers on the edge.

Even though the pond is small when the water level is low there is still variation in the reflections on the water, and this allows me to get different backgrounds that make a big difference in the overall look of the image.

These two images were taken only 5 seconds apart on October 27 at 8:42 am. Nikon D200, 300/2.8 AF-S lens with TC20E (2x), ISO 400 at f/8. The meter was in matrix with -1/3rd stop compensation dialed in to give some protection to the white feathers on the neck.



  1. Very good illustration of how fast things can change (only 5 seconds), especially with water reflections. I notice the same thing at our “grebe pond” where I’m constantly dialing in different settings when the bird moves just a few inches. Drives me crazy but it’s fun when I can meet the challenge too.

    Comment by rondudley — December 23, 2010 @ 7:27 pm

  2. Great shots and great illustration indeed! I love the color in the second one especially.

    Comment by Kimberly Hosey (Arizona Writer) — December 29, 2010 @ 10:50 am

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