Specializing in south Florida Everglades and Biscayne Bay
Saturday, May 25, 2013
If you love animals and cartoons, than you must love Gary Larson's humor. His Far Side cartoons are classic and one of them has the following caption: Anatidaephobia: The fear that somewhere, somehow a duck is watching you. The other day, a musgovy duck was in my backyard looking through my window. This did not scare me, but I considered it an invitation to go out and photograph my neighborhood feral ducks. During the rainy season, there is a grassy area near my home that gets flooded. This is when I like to photograph the musgovy ducklings swimming in the little ponds. Sometimes there is a bonus bird such as a green heron or white ibis to photograph. When I can't go out on the water with the canoe, I find opportunities to photograph around home.
There are some good reasons to photograph these little musgovy ducks. First, they are so dang cute (unlike the adult). Second, the water is displayed with interesting reflections coming from the grasses, trees, and buildings. The display of colors is quite attractive, but the challenge is avoiding the noise that come from various structures (fence posts, light posts, etc). The other good reason to photograph these birds is simply that they are there and I can get rather close to them (with mother duck watching me somewhere, somehow).
I get low on the grass, but not too low. I find that there are too many distractions in the background if I get as low to the ground as the duck. Instead, I stay in a sitting position which allows me to angle the shot downward such that only the water appears in the frame. Once I get into a good front light, I can stay in one spot and if I am lucky, one or two clutches of ducklings will be swimming around the small pond. I wait for one to swim into good light and where the reflections on the water are as I want them to be.
Here are some photos of my neighbors, the musgovys, and a white ibis.