And This Is Why I Still Carry My Camera

I’m not sure what it takes to make a great photo, but I’m sure that having a good subject helps.  I couldn’t have asked for a better subject than this male Hooded Merganser, who seemed to be showing his best stuff to nearby females. Equally important, he seemed totally unaware of the old guy with the camera.

Even when they don’t seem particularly frightened, Hooded Mergansers will turn their back to you and quietly paddle away, perhaps occasionally glancing back to make sure you’re not pursing them.  I thought this little guy was going to bump into me, though.  He gave me a string of poses that a model would have been proud of.

If I had ever fulfilled an early ambition of carving birds, this series of photos would have served as the perfect guide.

5 thoughts on “And This Is Why I Still Carry My Camera”

  1. What an extraordinary bird/duck….So vivid, really exquisite colors. Nature did well by the hooded Merganser (sp). I have looked at scores, probably hundreds, of your posts and sometimes I long to know 1) how far away from you your subject is and 2) about what time of day it is.

    1. First, I usually get out early in the morning — at least on local hikes — so the majority of pictures are taken before noon. This shot was unusually close so probably 20 feet away. Since I almost always use a 600mm lens or the equivalent, a lot of pictures are taken from a considerable distance and I have to crop the picture to get the final shot I post here.

  2. Wow, these are beautiful images. I’ve been trying to photograph these birds for years. Between not seeing them very often and their not cooperating, I hope your good luck rubs off on me.

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