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Ducks from today at the Lagoon

Discussion in 'Birds' started by Tim Z, Dec 25, 2005.

  1. I needed to get out today after all the rain, so I went down to Esquimalt Lagoon and took some shots of the various Ducks there right now. It was a really poor day for lighting, with most of them being black and white species and a dull cloudy day, but with the help of a flash I managed to get some decent shots. Buffleheads and Common Goldeneye have always been a challenge to get close to and to capture the full head colours. Had some success today. :smile:

    D70S with Nikkor 300 f4 AFS and TC-24E II
    ISO 200 & 400
    SB-800 in camera hotshoe (soon to get a Stroboframe Camera Flip)
    Manfrotto ART 055 Tripod














  2. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Dam Dam Dam I gotta get a 300 f4..grrrrrrrrrrrrrr That is such a great lens.

    Beautiful and great detail
    I am so jealous.

    Merry Christmas :>)))))
  3. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005

    Very nice series. Gale is right about the 300 f4. Very nice lens. Where did you find this assortment of beautiful duckies?
  4. jfenton


    Jan 26, 2005
    Haverhill, MA
    Most Definitely Impressed.

    Beautiful shots and although I typically detest my birds being lit artificially....if in fact these are....you've shown me that someone who knows what they're doing with fill flash, can rally bring out the beauty in their subjects :) 
  5. Thank all. I hope this wasn't too many images for one post?? :smile:

    Yeah, I was VERY pleasantly surprised when I got the 300 f4 AFS, It was the best lens I could afford (I really wanted the 600 or 500 f4), and I have not been disappointed at all. With the TC-14E II it is still just as crisp and sharp. Gets a bit softer with the TC-20E II, but still very useable. The other wonderful thing about the 300 f4 is the size and weight of it. I can't really see much reason to get a 300 f2.8 anymore as you can now simply bump up the ISO to match, and when I had my old 300 2.8, I almost never used the 2.8 anyway. Plus the 300 f4 focuses down to 4 feet, so it is great for those little tweeters and works really well for macro too (i.e. dragonflies, butterflies, etc.).

    Esquimalt Lagoon is a large federal wildlife sanctuary where MANY ducks, geese, swans, gulls, etc. overwinter. It is also a major miogration stopover for many species. They are all wild wintering species there right now, but this lady comes and feeds the ducks every afternoon with cracked corn, wheat and barley (healthy stuff for them). To my surprise, almost all of the waterfowl species in the lagoon come over when she is feeding, and in fact all eat the feed (even the goldeneye, scaup and bufleheads). Some hang out a bit further out as they are more timid than the Mallards, Widgeons and Pintails, and she throws the feed out where they can dive down and eat it. I could have added a bunch more species (i.e. Ring-necked Duck, Wood Duck, American and Eurasian Widgeon, Mallard, Northern Shoveller, etc.) that I have shot in past weeks there. :smile:

    I sort of felt the same about flash in the past until I got my new DSLR and the three speedlights. Now I find that I use flash almost all the time to have complete control of lighting. I never go anywhere without at least one flash on the camera. As long as the shutter speed is fast enough (i.e. 1/125 or faster) I generally use aperture priority with the flash. That way the background and over all image is lit naturally, but the subject is highlighted by the flash(s) (i.e. fill flash). In the situation with these ducks, if I did not use the flash it would have been a total waste of time even taking any pictures. They would all have been almost black and white, with the water being washed out and the dark sections being too dark with no detail or colour. It also helps that these are digital RAW files that can be processed in CS2. Without that ability, most of these would not show the colour detail in the heads.

    Thanks again, and Merry Xmas all

  6. SSchex


    May 18, 2005
    Louisiana, USA
    Beautiful ducks. I love those pintails.
  7. mrtac2man


    Jun 3, 2005
    300 f4

    ok the wife says.. your a dead man.... lol.... these made my decision easy.. i am getting the 300 and the converter... thanks for the help...

  8. LOL . . . . glad we live a few thousand miles apart :smile:

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