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Too many ducks (and other woes)
  
 
wonderer
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Too many ducks (and other woes)


In this weird transition to Spring, I've had a couple chances to try to photograph this amazing flotilla of ducks. I'm estimating the total number at over 300, at least six different species: Ringnecks, Canvasbacks, Redhead, American Widgeon, Mallards, Greater Scaup (I think) and Coots. To see them all bobbing like a floating tapestry, especially in good light, has been a real treat.

These were all shot with a 1DIV, 500 II + 1.4 III, 1/(3200-4000), f/(5.6-8). I was too far away but there was no way to get closer. I started shooting when it seemed they'd drifted close enough to have some possibility of getting some in-focus and fortunately they continued drifting closer for a while. But it never really was close enough.

I've read a bit about DOF with the optics I was using. I was hoping f/8 would yield a little better results but especially on my second trip, it was quite windy and I'm still developing my technique. I had and considered setting the rig up on a tripod, but having seen the ducks fly off when alarmed, opted to do my best sitting on-shore and bracing as best I could.

Any tips, tricks or suggestions welcome--thanks!

1. 1/4000, f/5.6






2. 1/4000, f/5.6






3. 1/3200, f/7.1






4. 1/4000, f/7.1






5. 1/4000, f/8






6. 1/4000, f/8






7. 1/4000, f/8






8. 1/4000, f/8






9. 1/4000, f/8






Edited on Mar 11, 2017 at 04:40 PM · View previous versions



Mar 11, 2017 at 03:06 PM
douter
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Too many ducks (and other woes)


Wonderful set of Cans, Redheads, et al. Kim!
Douglas



Mar 11, 2017 at 04:16 PM
morris
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Too many ducks (and other woes)


2, 5, 7, 8 and 9 are my picks Kim and they're looking very good. What you need is a boat :-}

Possibly you have not heard this tip: When you setup your tripod, turn you back to the subject as you place your tripod. When you face them and swing the tripod toward them it looks like you are about to attack.

Morris



Mar 11, 2017 at 05:26 PM
PetKal
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Too many ducks (and other woes)


Kim, one can never have too many ducks, and your images build up to a nice climax where you've got some cuties flying. Good exposure, pleasing colours.
Now, if they do not seem inclined to fly, and you'd like to shoot BIF, let me share with you a battle proven Supertelephotomaster's trick: a starter pistol or a high yield firecracker.



Mar 11, 2017 at 05:42 PM
Ted ellis
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Too many ducks (and other woes)


Great job Kim. The last 3 really stand out.


Mar 11, 2017 at 09:00 PM
sritri
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Too many ducks (and other woes)


Love the set


Mar 11, 2017 at 09:03 PM
surfnron
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Too many ducks (and other woes)


Very nice Kim. The IF shots stand out ~ Ron


Mar 12, 2017 at 03:00 AM
kmunroe
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Too many ducks (and other woes)


nice job on the ducks Kim


Mar 12, 2017 at 09:09 AM
wonderer
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Too many ducks (and other woes)


douter wrote:
Wonderful set of Cans, Redheads, et al. Kim!
Douglas


---------------------------------------------

sritri wrote:
Love the set


---------------------------------------------

kmunroe wrote:
nice job on the ducks Kim


Thanks gang; it was quite a thrill seeing this huge flotilla even though it was tough to frame these images well.



Mar 12, 2017 at 12:34 PM
wonderer
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Too many ducks (and other woes)


morris wrote:
2, 5, 7, 8 and 9 are my picks Kim and they're looking very good. What you need is a boat :-}

Possibly you have not heard this tip: When you setup your tripod, turn you back to the subject as you place your tripod. When you face them and swing the tripod toward them it looks like you are about to attack.

Morris


Thanks for the picks Morris, and right you are about the boat! I would have loved to be able to photograph them closer.

Great tip on the tripod. It's almost so obvious I never thought about it. I will try it sometime. I need to learn / improve long lens tripod technique for the few times I go that route.

---------------------------------------------

PetKal wrote:
Kim, one can never have too many ducks, and your images build up to a nice climax where you've got some cuties flying. Good exposure, pleasing colours.
Now, if they do not seem inclined to fly, and you'd like to shoot BIF, let me share with you a battle proven Supertelephotomaster's trick: a starter pistol or a high yield firecracker.


Haaa, great tip, Peter! There's a trail that runs on the 'back side' of this scene. I've been on it in the past but it's usually so flooded this time of year that it sends you into the brush frequently, plus there's all that icky Phragmites to fight your way through once you get to the periphery. Didn't seem practical with my gear that day but then lo-and-behold, I saw some people pop out in an opening there. That sent the ducks flying, but unfortunately the wrong direction. One of these days (soon!) I hope to get all my ducks in a proverbial row...

---------------------------------------------

Ted ellis wrote:
Great job Kim. The last 3 really stand out.


Thanks Ted; what I wouldn't give to have been (or have the ducks be) a little (or a lot) closer!




Mar 12, 2017 at 12:45 PM
 

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morris
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Too many ducks (and other woes)


wonderer wrote:
Thanks for the picks Morris, and right you are about the boat! I would have loved to be able to photograph them closer.

Great tip on the tripod. It's almost so obvious I never thought about it. I will try it sometime. I need to learn / improve long lens tripod technique for the few times I go that route.


Actually we both owe this tip to Art Morris as he shared it with me.

Morris



Mar 12, 2017 at 03:39 PM
morrismike
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Too many ducks (and other woes)


Set up about an hour before sunrise (15 minutes before they start moving) with a camo poncho set up. Shoot them coming in the flock.


Mar 13, 2017 at 02:37 AM
birdied
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Too many ducks (and other woes)


Very nicely done . I love the last 3.

Birdie



Mar 13, 2017 at 04:17 AM
Stephen-Jay
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Too many ducks (and other woes)


Good going on this set, keep practicing to get where you want to be, you only get better!


Mar 13, 2017 at 09:56 AM
wonderer
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Too many ducks (and other woes)


morris wrote:
Actually we both owe this tip to Art Morris as he shared it with me.

Morris


Fair enough; I've picked up several pointers from his blog but hadn't seen or thought of this one before!



Mar 14, 2017 at 10:13 AM
wonderer
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Too many ducks (and other woes)


morrismike wrote:
Set up about an hour before sunrise (15 minutes before they start moving) with a camo poncho set up. Shoot them coming in the flock.


Oh I'm usually there well before sunrise, though I wasn't with this flock for logistics reasons. I've never tried the camo poncho thing but maybe I'll give that a go. Sometimes I think I really can't carry one more thing on these soirees, but a poncho shouldn't take up too much room...thanks!



Mar 14, 2017 at 10:16 AM
wonderer
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Too many ducks (and other woes)


birdied wrote:
Very nicely done . I love the last 3.

Birdie


Thanks Birdie; me too!

---------------------------------------------

Stephen-Jay wrote:
Good going on this set, keep practicing to get where you want to be, you only get better!


Thank you Stephen-Jay. Already, I'm finding you're right. Hoping for some improved results soon!




Mar 14, 2017 at 10:19 AM
droaingsong
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Too many ducks (and other woes)


Very well taken, 5 and 9 are perfect.


Mar 14, 2017 at 12:00 PM
kdacharya
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Too many ducks (and other woes)


beautifully documented Kim, the last 2 are my favs.


Mar 14, 2017 at 03:12 PM
surgemaster
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Too many ducks (and other woes)


Nicely done, Kim. 7 & 8 for me.
Rex



Mar 15, 2017 at 05:18 AM
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