IN THE FIELD: Discovering The Light

Capturing the light is a huge part of what photography is all about. Whether it be a sunset, light filtering through leaves on a tree, or reflections on a pond.

I was drawn to the light shining on the golden pebbles at the bottom of this small, but swiftly moving stream. A large flock of Mallard ducks was riding the currents from one pool to the next. They would swim back upstream and then ride the swift water back downstream to the next calm pool. I don’t know how long they had been doing this or how long they continued after I left, but I enjoyed watching their antics.

The light was perfect that afternoon as it danced across the ripples in the water and reflected off the stream bed. I was able to hide behind some large boulders with the sun at my back, and photograph a few of the ducks as they came out of the shadows and swam into the sunlight.

Stumbling across this stream at this time of year paid off. This location during the summer would have yielded a different result. The sunlight would have been blocked be the leaves on the large trees surrounding the stream and I wouldn’t have had all the reflections. And who knows where those ducks may have been.


  1. December 12, 2011 at 10:50 am

    Beautiful shot, David. As you say, it is all about the light. πŸ™‚

    • December 13, 2011 at 10:24 am

      Thanks Bob, got lucky with this one.

  2. December 12, 2011 at 11:13 am

    Beautiful, David!

  3. December 12, 2011 at 11:26 am

    So beautiful, David. I’m always trying to capture water like that…the light on the bottom through the ripples. The beautiful mallard really adds the frosting on the cake! This is a very peaceful image.

    • December 13, 2011 at 10:26 am

      Thanks Lee, I enjoyed just watching the ducks and listening to the water for quite some time. The warm sun help too!

  4. December 12, 2011 at 11:37 am

    Oh, how amazing such moments are! The green on the duck sparkle so beautifully as well!

    • December 13, 2011 at 10:27 am

      Yes, the colors of the ducks were really showing up well!

  5. Nandini
    December 12, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    Beautiful light. It is a very nice capture. Loved it. πŸ™‚

    • December 13, 2011 at 10:30 am

      Thank you Nandini, it sure was pretty that day!

  6. December 12, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    the lighting, the focussing – everything is spot on here ! Beautiful

    the shimmering ,almost transparent water is bathed in a beautiful light..and the curious mallard looks like a more than willing subject to come pose for you πŸ™‚

    • December 13, 2011 at 10:33 am

      Thanks Abu, It was quite comical to was them swim up and down the stream. Focusing on moving ducks in the water is harder than it seems. I had a number of shots that were so close to being in focus but were just out enough that I couldn’t use them.

      • December 14, 2011 at 3:17 pm

        Been there David. precise focussing on moving birds is much much more than equipment and skill !

  7. December 12, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    This is great shot dear David, I can see what you mean about light… Fascinated me. Thank you, with my love, nia

    • December 13, 2011 at 10:34 am

      Thanks Nia, the sun was shining and the water was clear and everything just fit into place!

  8. December 12, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    Beautiful image, David!

    • December 13, 2011 at 10:36 am

      Thanks Gracie, I have a few of the females that I should post soon!

  9. December 12, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    Positively gorgeous shot! Yes, the light does so much… and the timing!

    • December 13, 2011 at 10:39 am

      Thanks Montocky, just when I thought the ducks would hang out in the eddies, they would swim into the current which was shaded by the embankment. I was there for awhile waiting for them to get in the perfect spot.

  10. December 13, 2011 at 12:07 am

    Love how you use the light to your advantage. I much prefer your liquid water to our frozen lake. πŸ™‚ Beautiful golden colors and love the vibrant green of the mallard’s head.

    • December 13, 2011 at 10:41 am

      Thanks, the colors really popped that day. I have a feeling things will be iced over soon. It’s been in the 20’s at night and middle 30’s during the daytime.

  11. December 13, 2011 at 3:57 am

    How pretty! I like the colours in the water and the duck’s almost luminous colouring.

    • December 13, 2011 at 10:42 am

      All the pieces just fell into place with this one. It was a beautiful afternoon!

  12. December 13, 2011 at 8:17 am

    That picture is just ducky πŸ™‚ You discover the most amazing finds for great pictures. I mean seriously, golden rocks? Wow

    • December 13, 2011 at 10:45 am

      I’m not sure why the rocks are so golden ( I know the sun had something to do with it) maybe I should go back there with a pan and a shovel and do some digging!

  13. Steve
    December 13, 2011 at 8:46 am

    It’s amazing what little gems we find when we revisit places at different times of the day or year. Nice photo, David. It’s hard to go wrong with wildlife of any kind, and the light here is wonderful! Cheers!

    • December 13, 2011 at 10:48 am

      Thanks Steve, I love revisiting places because I always come across something I missed before. I got lucky with this shot since I was behind a large rock so as not to spook the ducks. Need to save for bigger glass!

  14. December 13, 2011 at 11:36 am

    Love the iridescence of the green. Great shot, David.

    • December 13, 2011 at 4:01 pm

      Thanks Katie, the colors really popped in the late afternoon sunlight!

  15. December 13, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Very nice!

    • December 13, 2011 at 4:02 pm

      Thank you Cornel, I love all the colors in this photo!

  16. Kristina
    December 14, 2011 at 5:57 am

    Beautifully captured! The water is so clear ti makes me thirsty πŸ˜€

  17. December 14, 2011 at 9:05 am

    Thanks Kristina, I know what you mean…is the water ankle deep or is it knee deep. The water was clear and some areas pretty swift!

  18. December 15, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    Wow, the green of the mallard’s head is so vibrant! Love the warm colors mixed with the bright. Great capture!

  19. December 16, 2011 at 8:36 am

    Thanks Tricia, the light was just perfect that afternoon!

  20. January 5, 2012 at 5:01 am

    A lovely capture David!

  21. January 5, 2012 at 8:26 am

    Thanks Nick, I guess timing was everything that day. Thanks for stopping by Nick!

  22. a strawberry patch
    February 13, 2012 at 9:09 am

    Beautiful! I am new to photography, glad to find your blog!

    • February 13, 2012 at 10:27 am

      Welcome aboard…photography and photography blogs will take you on trips around the world. No passports or suitcases needed! You can learn a lot from reading the many blogs that are out there. Thanks for stopping by!!!

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