Nov.  09



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 Wood Duck 2



Wood Duck


I visited  Descanso Gardens in the early morning to photograph autumn color and noticed this little wood duck hiding in the reeds of a dark little pond.  He was quite timid and kept moving away from me.  He first moved left of me, so I walked forward and he moved right. This occurred several times over about 10 minutes.  


All of the time I was taking photographs of him.  I generally use ISO 320 as a default speed but I quickly noticed that all of the images were blurred and changed the ISO to 1600.  I am often reluctant to increase ISO without trying lower shutter speeds and I've missed a lot of images due to motion blur (and laziness).   It would be really cool to capture a sharp wood duck with blurred background but that didn't happen.  Maybe next time.


Typically there is a lot of clutter in the background but a noticed 2 sets of reeds that were in pretty good shape.  I took a lot of images just to capture the wood duck with a fairly clean back ground.  He kept floating over to a much larger Mallard but those images just weren't aesthetically pleasing. 


I tried photographing the wood duck later in the day, but the general public was beginning to enter the gardens and scared off all the wildlife.  There is a real advantage to being a member of local botanical gardens in order to attain early access. 


The image was captured on a DSLR with 200-400 zoom lens at F4.5 on carbon fiber tripod.


 Additional images can be viewed here