Saturday, May 5, 2012

Sunrise and Duck Hunt

     I think I was trying to catch some minutes before dawn, attempting some night shots with blue skies.  But the sun just rose too quickly that I failed to even set up my gear in time.  I settled to just scouting spots for next time.  I'm glad I did!

     As I walk by the river bank, I spotted a group of ducks chilling out in the river.  There's quite plenty of them and with sunrise, is such an opportunity to take pictures.  The river reflecting such golden light and the ducks' feathers glistening all around.  One can never go wrong with such a breath-taking scene, right?

Del Trio
I've noticed these 3 stayed together for the hour I've spend with them.  It seems they're siblings or just another group within this huge cluster.

On Flight
The pump action of my lens was surprisingly easier to use on flying ducks.  The hard part was to catch up with them flying.  It's usually just luck as I focus on other swimming ducks then move my lens whenever I hear wing flaps.

Footprints in the Snow
Seeing so many ducks around, this one long footprint attracted me.  Wondering which of these ducks walked alone for about 12 meters.  Meanwhile, the song, "Footprints in the Sand" kept ringing on my ear while looking at this.

     I always thought ducks are like pigeons.  I keep seeing pictures and videos of people feeding them in the open.  Apparently, it's not a walk in the park.  These ducks are not social!  At about 100 feet from me, they'd start swimming away and alarming every other ducks.  They're very far, it's frustrating even with my 80-200mm lens.

One example of why I need a lot more practice.  This is an ugly shot but it's one of the sharpest ones I took, that it hurts having to delete.  So I tried to find a way to use it.

     I'm guessing there's some sort of crash-course for birding.  I know I saw forums of it but never really got into it.  I rarely see other birds here besides ducks, pigeons, and herons.  And I don't think I have the patience to climb up a mountain top and wait there for hours just to get a good shot of a bird.  I can't even move slowly in this river bank just to get close enough to these ducks!

I think this was the best I could come up with from the session.  Cropped to better composition, saturated to show off the sunlight, and sharpened to highlight the subject more.  Looking at it right now, it's poor execution, too much compensation, and needs a lot lot more practice; be it post-process or in action.
     Who says this job was easy?  It was demands patience, skill, and time!  Something I lack, need, and just don't have.  These birds move at random directions, abruptly and unpredictably.  Just as I thought I caught up with their speed, they slow down.  Just as I got the focus right, they move.

An Easier Target
After shooting ducks, I found a father with 2 kids flying a kite.  Taking a good picture of them requires me to go down the bridge (where they were), and I don't have the energy to do so.  I took a snap of the kite which surprisingly was a lot easier than birds.  The kite moves at random directions but at a smooth and constant speed.

     But the session ended with me fully refreshed and back on the saddle of photography.  It's my first set of photographs after some months of hibernating.  It's time for me to study these pictures and see if I can better myself taking them next time.  It was a good day.

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