Mandarin Duck_02
Posted in News

Photographing Exotic Birds Close to Home

It’s beginning to rain out of doors, the times are getting shorter, and my vacation time is irreversibly over. Maximum people are more than likely skimping on our last holiday days for the top of the yr. What a scenario! There are far-off lands, unique animals, and journey expecting – however no time to {photograph} them.

There are two answers to this case. One is reasonably radical, which is to say good-bye to paintings and simply pass the place your center takes you. The opposite, which I’m going to give you lately, received’t depart in the back of burnt bridges, hundreds of greenbacks, or a failed marriage.

Mandarin Duck_02
NIKON D500 + 200-500mm f/5.6 @ 480mm, ISO 2200, 1/1000, f/5.6

As an alternative of touring to far-flung places searching for abnormal flora and fauna, you’ll seek for them nearer to house, from time to time actually on your yard. How is that imaginable?

Omit the zoo for now. These days, I’ll introduce you two species that I photographed in Prague, however which in the beginning belong to an absolutely other continent. An actual unique at house, as I promised.

The primary is the Mandarin duck, which is most commonly at house in Japan and China. However the rising inhabitants – first established from birds that escaped from captivity – has unfold itself hundreds of kilometers from its authentic house. The geese have even begun to breed in Europe, and thus I went to {photograph} them within the 700-year-old Stromovka Park within the heart of the Czech city.

Mandarin Duck_03
NIKON D500 + 200-500mm f/5.6 @ 500mm, ISO 3200, 1/1000, f/5.6

The second one unique hen I can introduce you lately is the Carolina duck. Sure, the one who swims in ponds in the US, from Washington, DC to Central Park in New York. Possibly it’s now not an unique hen for those who are living in the United States, however for me, it’s as far-flung as a hen from Africa. The Carolina duck arrived right here for an identical causes because the Mandarin duck, and now it makes its house right through portions of Europe.

Caroline duck
NIKON D500 + 200-500mm f/5.6 @ 500mm, ISO 2800, 1/1000, f/5.6

The ecologist part of me says that they don’t belong in our desert, even if they aren’t as a lot of an issue as many different non-native animals. For now, despite the fact that, let’s take a look at them now not in the course of the eyes of an ecologist, however a photographer. And those eyes say that they’re stunning birds which might be a pleasure to {photograph}.

I all the time just like the eye-level {photograph} of a hen, particularly like this, after they’re floating at the water. Best-down footage have a tendency to be deletable. Alas, the lake the place I discovered those species in Stromovka has such steep banks that it’s tricky to achieve water point. So, I will have to act like a duck and soar within the water.

water birds shooting_01
NIKON D500 + Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR @ 240mm, ISO 125, 1/50, f/5.6

A smart announcing is going one thing like this: to are living with the wolves, you might have to howl at the side of them. And so, to {photograph} geese, you might have to swim at the side of them – or a minimum of stroll into the water with wading pants.

One morning, I visited the geese of their herbal (to me unnatural) water atmosphere. Even if I had simply gotten my Nikon Z9, I selected to depart it at house and dive into the water with my D500, for concern of dunking the camera underwater.

I’d simplest try a photoshoot like this with a tripod and a gimbal head. My worry with a ball head is that I’d unintentionally loosen it an excessive amount of, inflicting the camera to plop into the water with the grace of a loon.

Mandarin Duck_04
NIKON Z 7 + 500mm f/5.6 @ 500mm, ISO 2200, 1/800, f/5.6

Once I after all were given down to the duck’s point (bodily, now not mentally, I’m hoping), the one factor left was once to wait – and to enlist the assistance of a pleasant woman strolling through who was once feeding the geese. The remaining was once simple and a laugh. I stood within the water, whilst one of the vital maximum colourful geese of 2 other continents swam round me.

My ultimate trick was once to check out to {photograph} each species of duck in the similar image. Finally, why now not? The scene would by no means have passed off in an untouched planet, however that tells a tale in and of itself. Two colourful birds from other continents assembly up to devour some meals in a pond in Europe. It kind of feels they’re as cosmopolitan as any people.

Caroline and mandarine duck
NIKON D500 + 200-500mm f/5.6 @ 500mm, ISO 2800, 1/1000, f/5.6

Admit it: Even a photograph shoot close to your home may also be reasonably an journey with a marginally of the unique.

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