Monday, February 24, 2014

Waterfowl and a Nice Sunset

Sunday turned out to be a great day for a late afternoon visit to one of Raleigh's un-named artificial lakes where various waterfowl like to gather. Judging by the cloud development, I had hopes for a nice sunset, and was not disappointed. For as long as there was enough light, I enjoyed shooting any birds that flew within range of a telephoto lens.

This Great Blue Heron has found something handy for nest building.

Coming in for a landing.

High flying trio.

Duck fight!

This chase went right past two uninterested bystanders (by-floaters?) who didn't even move in response.

Duck display:

This heron posed so beautifully, I was enchanted.

As the sun neared the horizon, I set up a composition and watched for flyovers.

Here's the boardwalk that made it easy to pick a good location over the water.

The slow shutter in this next shot blurred the birds almost beyond recognition, but they fit so nicely with the windblown clouds that I'm pleased with the image.

Only a few ducks got between me and the sun. I used the reflected light to form these next two shots.

I did a series of exposures that are identical in composition, just watching the subtle changes in the sky and catching some birds at interesting points within it.

No birds in this one, just a moment of brilliant color.

As the broader bands of color faded, I used a moderate telephoto to isolate the part of the sky that was still painted. Final shot, final light, scramble for the car feeling warm and happy!

[telephoto bird shots: EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS II + Extender 2X II
wide angle water and landscapes: TS-E 17mm f/4 L
final sunset shot: EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS]



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