I posted a couple of these in the "waterfowl" thread over in the "a picture I took" forum, but I thought I'd see if I could get some feedback from the experts over here.
Little public park pond, Bowie, MD around sunset F100, Quantaray 70-300mm f4-5.6 @300mm with a Quantaray 2X extender, no filter All pictures either 1/125 or 1/250 and f/5.6 Fujicolor Superia 400
#1 - I wanted to pretty much fill the frame, but would this have been better if I'd had a complete reflection of the goose in the water? I don't know if I could have composed any differently anyway, as I was using manual focus and following the goose with my tripod mount as it slowly swam toward shore.
#2 - Do any of you photographer/natuarlists know what's wrong with this goose? For the 30 minutes or so I was at the pond, this goose's tongue was hanging out. I'm assuming the goose had injured his (her?) tongue somehow. Is that a good guess, or is this normal goose behavior?
A note about the scan - on the original print, you can nicely see the water droplets on the goose's breast. The scan lost quite a bit of the sharpness of the original.
Hi Bob, Not bad, but as I notice in many pictures of waterfowl, the viewpoint is very often too high. Try to photograph at eye level (if possible), to get a much more "natural "look. About the tongue hanging out: they often do that in very hot weather to cool off.
Of course - thanks for the hint on level of shooting. There's been "something" about your pictures that I really like, and I think the level of view is (one of) the ingredients. I hadn't realized before what was catching my eye, but the level of view is definitely one aspect. Field of view was was particularly evident (and effective) in your shot of mushrooms a few weeks ago.
I'll try again this weekend - finally after months of drought, we're having 4 to 5 days of slow, steady rain - Belgian weather!!
Bob, Phil is right that some birds will pant when overheated. Was the goose doing anything else like hissing, bobbing or swaying his head? If so, it could have been a display of aggression for whatever reason. Good luck photographing the geese!
The temperature that day wasn't too bad - maybe about 60F (16C - I think). The goose was just swimming around with the other geese and ducks, competing for bread crumbs the kids on shore were tossing. In fact, there was a different goose that was behaving aggressively, going after other gooses' (geeses?) rear ends and swimming rapidly with his neck extended and his head skimming the water. But this goose with the tongue just cruised around calmly.
Am I not seeing right? It looks like the lower part of the beak is missing, leaving the tongue hanging. I know I have come across some animals from time to time that have had severe damage and still seem to survive OK. Maybe this is like that. Bruce
I think you're correct. I showed the photo to a guy at work who is an ecotoxicologist. He works mainly with aquatic creatures, but this is what he had to say.
It sure looks like the goose is missing lower bill. I've seen other pictures of birds with deformed bills, but don't know of any liertature about how they might do survival-wise out in the wild. Ordinarily I wouldn't think a bird could survive very long without a lower bill, but maybe because it lives in a place where people provide a lot of food, like corn, popcorn, etc it can get all the food it needs. It may also have no problem ingesting floating aquatic plants, but I think it would have a hard time with other types of food, like submerged vegetation or shellfish.
So, perhaps the mystery is solved. It was certainly an odd sight to see this goose cruising around with its tongue hanging out the whole time I was there. I wonder if other geese a tempted to peck at it.
I agree that getting down to the level of the fowl is important. Also, try saturation or changing color level and "levels" in the shot. Cropping tighter may help. I've attached a couple of shots. Two are the identical shot but manipulated differently to give a differnt feel.
I've been gone on business/holiday to Australia and just returned and didn't know this tread had any more posts.
Wim, I always enjoy the colors & mood in your photos (for example, your Taj Mahal sunrise). Chris, I also liked the composition of your shot.
Philippe - as usual, another little suggestion that could make a tremendous difference to a photo. I wouldn't have thought fill flash would be useful from so far away. Any thoughts about the maximum distance at which flast could be used to add sparkle? I assume it's related to the flash's GN.
Last week the geese started to come back. But there is not open water or them yet. Everthing is still frozen. Some ponds like this one have about an inch of water laying onto of the ice. I thought it made a nice effect.