Tiny Wings

A Wood Duck duckling sits upright and flaps in Sequoia Park's duck pond.

A Wood Duck duckling sits upright and flaps in Sequoia Park's duck pond.
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Winner in Wood ducks Photo Challenge
Peer Award
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Superb Composition
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Top Ranks

Summer Time Photo ContestTop 10 rank
Summer Time Photo ContestTop 10 rank week 2
Summer Time Photo ContestTop 10 rank week 1
Wildlife Babies Photo ContestTop 10 rank
Wildlife Babies Photo ContestTop 10 rank week 1
Soft Photo ContestTop 20 rank
Soft Photo ContestTop 10 rank week 2
Soft Photo ContestTop 10 rank week 1


4 Comments | Report
eelcovanroden PRO+
eelcovanroden July 01, 2015
whitneydanielleroden July 28, 2015
oh this is just too cute and a wonderful composition to boot
RuthJollyphoto Platinum
RuthJollyphoto July 30, 2015
Perfect timing subject and composition,A overall stellar shot.
cliffordgarstkasr August 29, 2016
Thank you for entering my Duck Photo challenge.
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Behind The Lens

This photo was taken in Sequoia Park in Eureka, California. One of my friends had taken a picture of a Wood Duck drake at the park's pond in late June, so I took a trip there a few days later to see if it was still around. During the intervening days, five Wood Duck ducklings had emerged from their nest in the surrounding trees and were taking shelter on the pond's island.
This shot was taken in the late afternoon, shortly before the sun fell behind the trees. Sequoia Park's pond is in a deep valley surrounded by tall redwoods, so there's a very short window of soft afternoon light before the trees cast their shadow over the pond.
This was taken in natural light. The ducklings timed their feeding session just right to catch the day's best light on the pond.
I shoot birds with a Sigma 300-800mm zoom on a Nikon D800. For this shot, I was using it handheld while lying on the ground at the edge of the pond.
The ducklings were absolutely adorable during my first visit to the pond, so I made a trip back the next day when the weather was clearer and I had better light to work with.
There are some basic color balance and contrast curve adjustments as well as a little sharpness and dodging brushed into the eye to bring it out as a focal point. It needed a little straightening too, since the gaps in the fence were barely big enough to fit my lens through and it was difficult to pan with a subject without skewing the lens.
In my camera bag
For shooting birds, I normally carry a Sigma 300-800mm zoom and Nikon D800 on a Joby sling strap.
For most of my Wood Duck shots, I timed my trip to take advantage of the softer late afternoon light, then waited at a spot where I could hold my lens low to the water at the pond's edge with the light more or less at my back. Like with most wildlife, waiting quietly for your subject to approach will usually get you a closer view of ducks than trying to go where they are.

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