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Duckling Splash



A young Wood Duck shakes off its bill while feeding in Sequoia Park.

A young Wood Duck shakes off its bill while feeding in Sequoia Park.
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People's Choice in ducks and geese Photo Challenge
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Genius
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7 Comments | Report
kathyk_abq
 
kathyk_abq May 21, 2017
Adorable!
starting PRO+
 
starting June 03, 2017
Great capture and oh so adorable!
kristitimmons PRO+
 
kristitimmons October 26, 2017
So absolutely adorable! Your talent is amazing!
Irys
 
Irys April 03, 2018
Beautiful!
JDLifeshots
 
JDLifeshots April 03, 2018
Amazing capture! Congrats.
JM18Photography PRO+
 
JM18Photography April 03, 2018
Congratulations!
Banie
 
Banie April 04, 2018
Congrats with your winning image. Love it and well deserved.

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Behind The Lens

Location
This duckling is from Sequoia Park in Eureka, California. A small pond in a wooded canyon there serves as ideal habitat for Wood Ducks, and a pair of nest boxes installed by a volunteer last year has made it easier for them to breed on site.
Time
This was taken during the late afternoon. With towering trees on three sides of the pond, there are only a few hours of sunlight that reach the water toward the accessible shores. Afternoons are the best time for duck photography in Sequoia Park.
Lighting
Only natural light is at work here.
Equipment
I took this photo with a Nikon D500 and Sigma 300-800mm zoom, handheld.
Inspiration
Wood Duck drakes have some of the most striking colors found in waterfowl, and their ducklings are absolutely adorable. I always make at least a couple trips during their breeding season to photograph and film them in Sequoia Park.
Editing
I made basic color balance and contrast curve adjustments to the image and cropped it for composition.
In my camera bag
For bird photography, I use a Nikon D500 and Sigma 300-800mm zoom, which I sling over my shoulder with a padded strap while hiking.
Feedback
Wood Ducks are wary of people, so it usually takes a considerable amount of time sitting silently in one spot before they swim in for a closeup shot like this. I recommend picking a spot that has a clear view of their regular feeding areas and finding a position that allows you to sit comfortably while still operating your camera. Instead of a tripod or a monopod, try resting your camera on a large sandbag or a plank of wood to get your lens closer to your subject's eye level.

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