Wood Duck 2
I visited Descanso Gardens in the early morning to photograph autumn color and noticed this little wood duck hiding in the reeds of a dark little pond. He was quite timid and kept moving away from me. He first moved left of me, so I walked forward and he moved right. This occurred several times over about 10 minutes.
All of the time I was taking photographs of him. I generally use ISO 320 as a default speed but I quickly noticed that all of the images were blurred and changed the ISO to 1600. I am often reluctant to increase ISO without trying lower shutter speeds and I've missed a lot of images due to motion blur (and laziness). It would be really cool to capture a sharp wood duck with blurred background but that didn't happen. Maybe next time.
Typically there is a lot of clutter in the background but a noticed 2 sets of reeds that were in pretty good shape. I took a lot of images just to capture the wood duck with a fairly clean back ground. He kept floating over to a much larger Mallard but those images just weren't aesthetically pleasing.
I tried photographing the wood duck later in the day, but the general public was beginning to enter the gardens and scared off all the wildlife. There is a real advantage to being a member of local botanical gardens in order to attain early access.
The image was captured on a DSLR with 200-400 zoom lens at F4.5 on carbon fiber tripod.
Additional images can be viewed here.