Sunday, 21 June 2009

New Hobby 1: Diving Hardheads

Having cracked the secret of photographing grebes, I thought I'd move onto a different target. Hardheads (Aythya australis) are diving ducks and, like grebes, they usually dive just as you click the shutter. Hardheads are rather average looking ducks (I can say that because I'm pretty sure no hardheads are reading this blog), so they don't make the most engaging subjects for portrait shots. So I thought I would try to get a photograph of a hardhead in action: in mid-dive.

I haven't quite got the hang of it yet. They're quick and the shutter delay doesn't help. I've ruled out using the motor drive, because that's (sort of) cheating. It's my powers of prediction and reflexes against the wiles of a duck. So far the ducks are winning. But I'll get there.

Here are the results of my first attempt. I won't say how many photos included nothing but ripples.


Dave Coulter said...

I really admire a good photo of a bird. It's tough enough to get a good look at them through binoculars, let alone a camera!

John said...

I find it endlessly amusing that there are ducks called "hardheads."


I would have used the "motor drive" (I suppose you mean taking sequential shots).

Snail said...

Dave, these hardheads are particularly difficult ducks. They don't like to swim close to shore except when you're camera-less.

John, I wonder if it's anything to do with the enthusiasm of their diving?!

Aydin, I suspect my terminology is a bit old school! Yes, sequential shots. But I'm trying to learn enough about their behaviour that I can anticipate a dive. They are very fast.

Denis Wilson said...

Great sequence of images, Snail.
Especially the last shot.

Snail said...

I was getting the hang of it by then! Will go back and give it another go. (At least there aren't any ticks at the bird hide.)

Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.