Thursday, April 24, 2014

Close Formation-Ducks in Flight

We like this photograph of two drake mallard ducks flying in close formation with their wings set.  This is a little different than what we usually get when the ducks are dropping in to land in the local creek.  This pair was low and locked up as if they would drop in but instead they kept going to make another circle around the area.  Speed was very fast.
The wings on the left duck are almost straight and make a strong diagonal line that contributes to a dynamic composition.  Indeed, the two ducks are flying so close to each other that together they form a nice diagonal.
100-400 lens at 400mm, 1/1600 at f/5.6, ISO 640.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Wings Set and Feet Down

This is another favorite photograph of a duck in flight with his wings set and his feet down as he glides to a landing.  The drake mallard was coming in hot and has deployed his feet as air brakes to slow the descent.  I was positioned next to a creek and a lot of ducks were coming in and flying back out during their spring courtship flights.
100-400 lens at 400mm, 1/1600 second at f/5.6, ISO 320.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Wings Cupped/Feet Down-Ducks in Flight

This is an exciting shot of two ducks in descending flight with their wings cupped and feet down.  Photographs like this are rewarding because it isn't a high percentage shot.  The descent is rapid and often the ducks are slipping side to side.  This makes it difficult to keep them in focus, not to mention in the frame.  It was fairly early in the morning so the sun was still low enough to put some soft light on the undersides.
100-400 lens at 200mm, 1/2000 second at f/5.6, ISO 1250.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Close-up: Giant Slalom Ski Race

This is one of our favorite photographs taken during an alpine ski race on the giant slalom course.  Good close-ups are difficult because the skiers are at such high speed that it's difficult to keep them in the frame of a long lens when they get so close.  A shot like this pays off, though, because we can clearly see the intense facial expression on the athlete.  The eyes are also visible through the goggles and this adds considerable interest to a viewer.  That's just luck, however, because many skiers wear darker goggles in the bright sun.  We have peak action, too, as the skier is just making contact with the gate.
400mm lens, 1/2000 second at f/3.5, ISO 100.