Friday, January 8, 2010

Mallard duck finding sunlight.

This photograph captures a mallard duck as he descends into a creek. The unusual lighting makes it special and I was pretty excited to get the shot. The late afternoon sun was very low. The creek bank opposite me is high so it was in deep shade. There was no bank where I was positioned and I could be near water level. A proper exposure on the duck's head leaves the creek bank very underexposed with hardly any detail except for some patches of snow. It's really neat that the head is lit and the white tips of the tail feathers show so nicely.
100 to 400mm lens set at about 325mm. The exposure is tricky but also the focus. A rapidly descending bird is hard enough to follow in a clear sky but this area has trees in addition to the creek bank. Most of my shots from that position were not usable at all because it was so difficult to maintain focus and properly expose.

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