06.09.19: Mallard reflecting

Male Mallard floating in a lake, Sharon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio. 

PHOTO OF THE WEEK ARCHIVES

Technical information

Date/time:
Dec. 29, 2006,
8:59 a.m.

Location
40°6'40" N
82°57'40" W
(Show in Google Maps)

Camera: 
Canon EOS 20D

Lens: 
Canon EF 600mm f/4L, Canon 1.4x teleconverter (840mm) 

Aperture: 
f/6.3

Shutter: 
1/160th second

ISO: 
800

I seldom photograph ducks.

It’s not that I have anything against ducks. It’s just that they are a somewhat common sight and they aren’t much of a challenge to photograph when they are swimming.

As the metaphor (and cliche) for easy — “like shooting ducks on a pond” — indicates, anyone can do it. There’s no challenge to it.

But occasionally I’ll see a duck scene that’s too interesting the ignore, like this male Mallard I photographed on a lake in Sharon Woods Metro Park north of Columbus, Ohio.

The bird was swimming on a somewhat overcast December morning, so the surrounding water was reflecting both the bird and the gray sky. The morning sunlight, filtered through the clouds, was coming from the right of the scene, providing nice directional lighting. The water was calm in front of the bird, showing a perfect reflection, and rippled behind, indicating motion and providing depth.

So I focused on the bird and waited for it to get into a position I wanted — a slightly angled profile — then grabbed a shot before I continued my hike.

There’s nothing really special about this shot. It’s just a duck on a pond.

But at least it shows I’m not anti-duck.

Each week I will post a photo from my collection with an explanation of how I got the shot. Previous photos of the week are in the archives.