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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Photographing Waterfowl during Winter

As the cold winter months continue here in Canada, one has to wonder when it will all end! Temperatures and precipitation amounts have been about normal here this year, so one really has to wonder about global warming!!
One of the best opportunities one can find during these months is photographing waterfowl that congregate in areas of open water. Many species of Ducks and even Mute Swans that don't migrate can be found. Use your car as a blind if possible, birds don't usually react to seeing a vehicle, but the human form almost always sends them running! The pictures I have included today have been shot with either the 300mm F4L IS or the 300mm F2.8 IS which I have just recently acquired and starting shooting with. The best glass for these opportunities are within the 300-500mm focal length range. A 1.4X converter goes along way to help you out with lenses at the 300mm end of this range. I always use Full Manual on my camera to carefully expose not only the white in some of the birds, but the snow too. It's not hard to over do it, so I do recommend using Manual, and watching what your exposure is, adjusting the shutter speed accordingly. Watch you histogram, and if your camera has the blown highlights warning feature, that can be seen once the shot has been taken, make adjustments as needed. Most of all, Have Fun !!

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