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Old Jan 16, 2005, 9:00 PM   #1
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I learned of a hooded merganser on a river near a grocery store in the next town. Not one I normally go to, but why not? I had to shop any ways. It didn't come that close, and the dense clouds made for a bad shutter speed. But you gotta try when the bird looks this good. I do like them... although maybe it's because they are hard to get a good photo of (they like to stay away from people.)

I can accept the lack of sharpness (from a wooden bridge with others walking on it? Ok.) I just wish I'd checked the histogram, I would have corrected for the blown hilight (it's actually not completely blow but its so close it doesn't matter?)

I did the slightly tight framing because above it was some brambles that didn't look good in the frame.

Camera: 20D 600mm f4 1/125 f4 ISO200 tripod
PhotoShop: RAW convert neatimage with sharpening selectively, shadow/higlight, touch of contrast, crop, reduce, sharpen (selectively.)
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Old Jan 16, 2005, 10:28 PM   #2
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I wish I could get a picture of a merganser that was as good as this one, Eric. I've tried to get shots of the American Mergansers that have stopped over in the ponds on the golf course near me and I mostly just end up exposing so badly it just pisses me off. I find it extremely difficult to get a shot that is exposed so that you retain detail in their dark areas and yet do not blow out their white features. Very frustrating.

How many comments did you get from the passersby on the wooden bridge about that 600mm lens? I bet quite a few, and probably some amusing ones too.

I sure love that golden eye of theirs...
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Old Jan 16, 2005, 10:49 PM   #3
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Nice, we never see them here. :sad:
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Old Jan 17, 2005, 9:27 AM   #4
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This type of bird plumage is extremely hard to expose correctly. I feel your pain. I'm not sure I know any better than playing with bracketing (or maybe a touch of fill, but would reflections off the white cause trouble?) But I hope to get another try at it and see. Someone told me of a location with all 3 mergansers so I'm going to go there some time this week.

People often think what I have is a spotting scope and not a lens. When I say its a lens they don't know what to say. People who do know its a lens ask if I'm a pro or just if I shoot for National Geographic. (Which remindes me of a story. A guy on NPN was getting bugged quite often with question about being a pro. So he started wearing a National Geographic hat... and they stopped asking, they just assumed. Solved his problem.)

Eric
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