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March 2018
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DAJ Designs Photography
 
March - Duck Extravaganza!!!
Right now is duck season in the Mid-Atlantic with many ducks in full breeding plumage. Places like Bombay Hook NWR and Blackwater NWR are full of ducks of all varieties. And on the Choptank River in Cambridge, MD, the numbers of Lesser Scaup and Canvasbacks are simply unbelievable. Read on to join us on our duck watching adventures of the past month or two!
 
Into the Group
Into The Group
By: Benjamin DeHaven
Above, a view from Oakley Street in Cambridge, MD along the Choptank River. Here we have a Lesser Scaup landing in a group of other Lesser Scaup along with a single Canvasback. Homeowners began feeding the ducks corn years ago and now these ducks return here every year, whether they are fed or not. While I do not condone baiting ducks or feeding wildlife, the flock that gathers here is too much for a photographer to pass up. It is really quite a sight to behold. Although not pictured here, the variety included Redheads, Mallards, Canadian Geese, and American Wigeon. 

This particular day was overcast and keeping the shutter speeds up was a challenge. Too fast of a shutter speed meant the ISO went up and so did the digital noise in the image. It was a constant battle between getting sharp images and getting clean, noise-free images. Many of these motion shots were lost to the battle, except a few golden gems came out like the picture above. It has been said many times that a noisy picture is better than an out-of-focus picture. So keep those shutter speeds up and catch those moving birds!
Canvasback Portrait
Canvasback Portrait
By: Debbie Jordan
Amid the many ducks that day, I was able to single out this beautiful male Canvasback. Dappled with mist and set against the gray waters, his warm coloring is a stark contrast to the otherwise monotone surroundings. Having so many Canvasbacks in one spot is a bird photographer's little piece heaven. I played with shots of single ducks, multiple ducks, ducks in flight, and chaotic scenes as they all dove for the corn at the same time. Although I could have sat there for hours in the misting rain to photograph these beauties, we were rapidly losing light. So we headed for home after a long day and multiple stops.
A Slanted View
Chaos
By: Debbie Jordan
Northern Pintail have been one of my favorite ducks ever since I inherited a hand painted decoy that my late grandfather painted. It currently sits on my shelf in my living room. So when I get the chance to take some Northern Pintail pictures I jump on it. This Pintail couple swam gracefully by at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge in early February. Other ducks on the refuge that day included Mallards, Northern Shovelers, Bufflehead, Hooded Merganser, Common Merganser, and American Black Ducks. Visit your local pond or wildlife refuge and watch for the ducks!
Pintail Couple
Pintail Couple
By: Benjamin DeHaven
I've been learning some advanced Photoshop techniques lately which have helped my images look more like what the real scene looked like. Because the camera and our eyes see things differently, post processing is always needed when shooting in RAW. For example, the blue reflection in the water was grey straight out of the camera. Why? Our eyes have a greater ability to see dynamic range then a camera sensor does. When we look at a contrasting scene, we can make out colors in the darks and colors in the brights. A camera sensor on the other hand is somewhat limited. Most camera sensors currently can detect about 14 stops of dynamic range while it is estimated our eyes see 20 stops of dynamic range. For the non-technical person, just know that our eyes see many, many more shades of light and dark at the same time then a camera can. So by creating a bright luminosity mask in Photoshop I was able to recover the bright highlights in the water, while keeping the darks in the background dark. Thus making the image appear more the way it actually looked that morning. Do not let anyone tell you Photoshop is a dirty word. It is a powerful tool, and in the right hands it can help replicate what the human eye saw!
Red-breasted Merganser Flying
Red-breasted Merganser Flying
By: Benjamin DeHaven
All images are for sale on our website.
Click on any image above to be redirected to
DAJ Designs Photography.
Website
Biography
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Buy Our Book
Canvasback Portrait
Available on website
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Pintail Couple
Available on website
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Select photos also available at
Gallery Framing, Ltd. 
Cockeysville, MD. 

http://www.galleryframing.com
Until Next Time....
Copyright © 2018 DAJ Designs, All rights reserved.


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