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"Make Way for Ducklings"
"Make Way for Ducklings"

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Family (Advanced Editing IV)
Collection: Challenge Submissions
Camera: Nikon D70
Lens: Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 VR DG IF-ED
Location: Kirkland, Washington, USA
Date: Jul 8, 2005
Aperture: F9.5
ISO: 1600
Shutter: 1/750
Galleries: Family, Animals
Date Uploaded: Jul 9, 2005

Photographer’s Notes

Right away when the challenge was announced, I knew what I wanted to photograph. There is a family of ducks that lives near us. I had wanted to take a photo of the mother and father duck with their 4 ducklings. But the weather was crappy and we didn’t see them for several days. Then yesterday the mother shows up with only two ducklings. Camera at hand, I’m off to see what I can get.

Turns out ducks and ducklings are TOUGH to photograph (I want to say tough to shoot but it gives the wrong impression). They are fast, skittish around long barrel lenses and they don’t take direction well. So I shoot maybe 200 pictures trying for one good one.

I was able to get 3 decent photos of the mother and one or two ducklings but the color was poor, the lighting poor and I was dissatisfied. I did have a few photos of one or two ducklings that were so darn cute but I worry the challenge Nazis will be overly critical that I don’t have a platonic nuclear duck family. We'll see.

So I am scouting around for a title and come across the children’s story “Make Way for Ducklings” by Robert McCloskey. Maybe that will work for the title.

In case you don’t know the story, here’s a synopsis: Mr. & Mrs. Mallard are looking for a place to live. Every time Mr. Mallard finds a place, Mrs. Mallard says it is not a good place to raise a family. They finally decide on a place in Boston along the Charles River. Mrs. Mallard has eight ducklings and decides to leave the Charles River site and settle in the Boston Commons. The trip from the river to the Commons becomes quite a problem for Michael, the policeman, who oversees the adventure.

I like the photo. The ducks are cute. It may be a challenge stretch … I guess the voters will decide. Enjoy!

Post Processing
Reduce Noise (Neat Image)
Rotate (5.2 degrees)
Levels (RGB)
Clone out a couple of bright spots
Sharpen (lab color method w/ USM)
Save for Web

Camera Data
Nikon D70
2005/07/08 17:25:06.2
JPEG (8-bit) Fine
Image Size: Large (3008 x 2000)
Lens: VR 70-200mm F/2.8 G
Focal Length: 200mm
Exposure Mode: Aperture Priority
Metering Mode: Center-Weighted
1/750 sec - F/9.5
Exposure Comp.: 0 EV
Sensitivity: ISO 1600
Optimize Image: Vivid
White Balance: Auto
AF Mode: AF-S
Flash Sync Mode: Not Attached
Color Mode: Mode IIIa (sRGB)
Tone Comp: Auto
Hue Adjustment: 0°
Saturation: Normal
Sharpening: Auto
Image Comment:
Noise Reduction: OFF

Place: 46 out of 159
Avg (all users): 5.5927
Avg (commenters): 6.2941
Avg (participants): 5.5341
Avg (non-participants): 5.6250
Views since voting: 949
Views during voting: 348
Votes: 248
Comments: 18
Favorites: 0

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 Comments Made During the Challenge
07/16/2005 03:35:23 PM
Little ducks NEVER hold still so I know this was not an easy shot t get. High on the cute scale.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/15/2005 10:14:11 PM
Excellente colors and composition,
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/15/2005 07:02:18 AM
im always a sucker for baby animals... so cute...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/14/2005 05:19:43 PM
Fit Challenge Criteria: 2/2
Contrast/Color: 2/2
Photo Quality: 0/2
Composition: 2/2
My Subjective Affinity: 1/2

Great work on this photo. More time could have been used in the post processing to remove some of the many distracting elements though.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/14/2005 03:14:05 PM
Very nice. Focus and DOF seems right on. B&W I think would have been still better but thats just my tast.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/13/2005 04:02:47 PM
Composition: Good
Technical: Appears flat on lighting/contrast
Image appeal: Some bad reflections and dirty water are distracting
Score: 5
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/13/2005 08:35:02 AM
nice colours, amazing contrast
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/12/2005 11:05:30 PM
Subject Impact: High
Meets Challenge: Average
Technical: Average
Composition: Average
Creativity: Average

Score: 6
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/12/2005 10:24:57 PM
I really like the composition/focus/exposure of this image but it looks like it was taken at a very high ISO, and the color-noise really detracts from the image. You might also try switching the picture to B&W, as noise is more common in B&W pictures.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/12/2005 03:33:20 PM
They are SO cute. And the picture is well done, too!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/12/2005 02:02:10 PM
Fit to challenge criteria: 2 /2
Contrast/Colors: 2/2
Photo Quality: 2/2
Composition: 1/2
My subjective affinity: 0/2
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/12/2005 09:54:17 AM
Great composition. They are so cute! Good DOF, but I think the glare on the water is a bit distracting (IMHO). I think that if the lighting/highlights were toned down, the colors on the ducklings and the water, as well as the DOF, would really stand out more. Still a nice shot. 6
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/11/2005 11:12:51 PM
what a joyful sight.... great pic, sharpness, colors and composition is great.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/11/2005 12:40:37 PM
Very nice capture! The FG duck is a touch oof, but still a nice image overall.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/11/2005 08:06:41 AM
Cute and sharp
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/11/2005 07:48:45 AM
I can't resist a good duck picture. This is so cute.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/11/2005 02:45:03 AM
very nice shot of ducklings - would have really been good with the parents there too. Focus and detail are nice and sharp
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/11/2005 01:33:12 AM
VERY CUTE!! Nice close up.
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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