ARCHIVE 578 – MALLARD ON THE RHYNE BESIDE JACK’S DROVE (MONO)

 

 


.

Mallard on the rhyne beside Jack’s Drove, on Tadham Moor, on the Somerset Levels; 31 Mar 2015.

Springtime, and a pair of Mallards swim up the water-filled ditch or rhyne (rhymes with “seen”)  beside the little road known as Jack’s Drove.  These ducks will breed on this backwater, the more brightly patterned male (on the left) more prominent on his territory while the darker, drabber and more camouflaged female sits undetected on their nest, somewhere in the dense waterside vegetation.

In contrast to these two quietly swimming beings, I see the bare tree on the right as a mass of writhing snakes or sinuous fingers, reaching up, furiously grasping, skywards.  And in fact on this extremely windy day, while the ducks were relatively sheltered on their little waterway, the tree was twisting and writhing as it took the full force of a westerly howling in from the Bristol Channel.

Click onto this image to see a larger and far more detailed image that opens in a separate window – recommended.

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 400 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Antique Portrait preset.

.
.
.

ARCHIVE 534 – MALLARD DUCKS (MONO)

 

 


.

Mallard ducks on the edge of Chew Valley Lake, Somerset; 6 Apr 2015.

A pair of these common and often very tame ducks, at Herons Green. 

On the left, the male stands immobile on one leg.   On the right, his mate’s busy preening sends great numbers of ripples out into the shallows.

Click onto the image to see a larger version in a separate window – highly recommended.

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 200mm; 200 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Low Key 2 preset.

.
.
.

ARCHIVE 479 – FISHERMAN (MONO)

 

 


.

Fisherman in early morning mist, Herons Green, Chew Valley Lake, near Bristol; 6 Apr 2015.

The morning was very misty but, in pursuit of Minimalism, I’ve added a pale vignette to further reduce detail.

And this all enfolding mistiness also serves to enhance the impression of a lone individual pursuing his passion early on a calm morning, surrounded by the gentle sounds of water, birds, and the lightest of breezes.

Click onto the “early morning” tag (below) to see more images from the early hours of the day.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window – recommended.

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor at 300mm; 200 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Classic Portrait preset.

.
.
.

SOMERSET LEVELS 449 – MALLARD ON THE NORTH DRAIN (MONO)

 

 

.
A pair of Mallard, one of our commonest ducks, on the calm waters of the North Drain, on Tealham Moor.  The Drain is completely artificial, having been dug to help carry away water from this flat and frequently flooded landscape, some of which is below sea level.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window – strongly  recommended.

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 400 ISO; jpeg created and processed in-camera from a raw file, using the Graphite profile; further processing in Lightroom and Capture NX2; the North Drain, on Tealham Moor, on the Somerset Levels southwest of Wedmore; 14 Feb 2020.
.
.
.

SOMERSET LEVELS 345 – MALLARD ON THE NORTH DRAIN (MONO)

 

 


.
A pair of Mallard, a very common duck, on the calm waters of the North Drain, on Tealham Moor.  The more ornate male is on the left, and the far more camouflaged female on the right.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to further enlarge it – recommended.

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens used in DX (= APS-C) format to give 450mm; 500 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Flat V2 picture control; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Underexpose EV -1 preset and adding a strong coffee tone; the North Drain on Tealham Moor, on the Somerset Levels, seen from the Jack’s Drove bridge; 12 Apr 2019.
.
.
.

ARCHIVE 344 – MIST LIFTING, HERONS GREEN

 

 


.

Early morning mist lifting at Herons Green Bay, Chew Valley Lake, south of Bristol; 6 Apr 2015.

Driving through the Chew Valley, heading for the Mendip Hills, I came out onto an open stretch of road beside Chew Valley Lake and was suddenly enveloped in thick mist.  But over to my left the sun was starting to rise, the mist was lifting and changing colours in the most visually seductive ways – and I swerved into a layby, jumped out and started taking pictures.

I was there for about an hour, and this is the first of a short series of images from that misty morning.  I love images with little detail, and the telezoom that I’m married to was just right for picking out scenes in that warm softness.

Chew Valley Lake is a large reservoir, the 5th largest artificial area of water in the UK.  It was opened in 1956, to supply Bristol with drinking water.  It has many memories for me because it was here, in 1967, that two school friends first opened my eyes to birds and birdwatching, and so set me on a path and interest that continued through to 2002.  I no longer go birdwatching, but I retain a deep love and feeling for birds, and see them as an essential facet of all land-, water- and skyscapes.

Click onto the image to see a larger version in a separate window.

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 78mm; 200 ISO; Color Efex Pro 4.

.
.
.

STILL LIFE 199 – DUCK, SWIMMING

 

 


.

Female Mallard, a common duck species, swimming.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to further enlarge it.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; image rotated; Herons Green, Chew Valley Lake, Somerset; 16 Feb 2018.
.
.
.

CHEW LAKE 23 – SIX DUCKS

 

 


.

Six ducks, Tufted Ducks if I remember correctly, swimming towards me from shadows, just before sunrise.

Technique: both the X-T1 and X-T2 have large and very usable Electronic Viewfinders (EVF).  Here I set the X-T2 to spot metering, and moved the metering spot around the frame until the EVF showed me an effect I liked, when I locked the exposure via the AE-L button.  Then, with the exposure locked, I framed the image as I wanted it and fired.  This is certainly not total reality as it appeared at the time, but rather my interpretation of it – and a technique where EVFs really come into their own.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it further.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 3200 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Herons Green Bay, Chew Valley Lake, Somerset; 16 Feb 2018.
.
.
.

ARCHIVE 305 – SUNRISE WITH THREE DUCKS (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 


.

Three ducks and the sunrise over Tealham Moor, south of Wedmore, on the Somerset Levels; 23 Nov 2012.

As with my pictures of crows aloft , the birds are dwarfed by the immensity of their element, yet quite at one with it.

Click onto the image to open another version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it.

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 400 ISO; conversion to mono and colour restoration in Silver Efex Pro 2.

UPDATE: Minimalism once more, and the slightly unreal look of colour restored to a black and white image.

.
.
.

STILL LIFE 106 – MALLARD 2

 

 


.

Female Mallard, resting but alert as I edge closer – the first of these bird still lifes (a male Mallard), with context, is here: 1, and there are other images here: 2; 3; 4.

Click onto this image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that larger image to enlarge it yet again.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Herriots Bridge, Chew Valley Lake, Somerset; 3 Apr 2017.
.
.
.

%d bloggers like this: