Saturday Afternoon at the Duck Pond

It’s been a while since I’ve been to Richmond Park, so ever since my new arrival I’ve been itching to go back there. Yesterday, I carried out with that threat as my wife and I headed out there for a bike ride. We hadn’t yet completed a full circuit of the park, and that, ultimately, would be our goal for the day.

One of the problems with that particular plan is that a lot of the action in Richmond Park happens in the interior of the park, and cycles are only allowed on the roads and the peripheral pathways. It’s not stopped me much before, but in my continuing quest to try and take some slightly different images there was the risk of coming home with more of the same sort of stuff.

Ultimately that is for you to judge, but I fear some of these will look a bit familiar.

We were not far into the park when we came across an algae-covered pond, full of various birds enjoying a relaxing Saturday afternoon, including a heron.

Exposure 1/250sec, f/5.6, ISO 100, exposure bias -0.33
Exposure 1/250sec, f/5.6, ISO 100, exposure bias -0.33

There was also ducks…

Exposure 1/500sec, f/5.6, ISO 100, exposure bias -0.33

I tried to shoot from a low angle in order to show the narrow depth of field.

Also amongst the bird in the pond were a few cute little baby ducks.

Exposure 1/200sec, f/5.6, ISO 100, exposure bias -0.33

The heron would become a focal point for many of the shots taken at this pond, as he stood perpetually at the far end of the water, hunting.

Exposure 1/1250sec, f/4, ISO 100

Meanwhile, the heron continued to stalk its prey…

Exposure 1/160sec, f/5.6, ISO 100, exposure bias -0.67

There was also some of those weird geese things that keep on turning up wherever I find water and birds.

Exposure 1/320sec, f/5, ISO 100, exposure bias -0.33

There was also a mother duck with her ickle little ducklings. She was making them do lengths of the pond.

Exposure 1/160sec, f/5.6, ISO 100, exposure bias -0.33

Finally, after several swipes at the water (none of which produced an impressive splash due to him hunting in shallow water), the heron upped and walked off. No idea why he chose to walk, but there we go.

Exposure 1/160sec, f/5.6, ISO 100, exposure bias -0.33

The heron may have been gone, but as he left we were treated to a training session by the duck synchronised swimming team.

Exposure 1/320sec, f/5.6, ISO 100, exposure bias -0.33
Exposure 1/250sec, f/5.6, ISO 100, exposure bias -0.33
Exposure 1/500sec, f/5.6, ISO 100, exposure bias -0.33

I particularly like the latter image.

Meanwhile, one of the little ducklings was not really enjoying his swimming lesson.

Exposure 1/200sec, f/5.6, ISO 100, exposure bias -0.33

The other ducklings, however, seemed to be enjoying themselves.

Exposure 1/500sec, f/5, ISO 100, exposure bias -0.33
Exposure 1/250sec, f/5, ISO 100, exposure bias -0.33

I particularly like the sharpness of the duckling’s face in this image.

Exposure 1/160sec, f/5.6, ISO 100, exposure bias -0.33

Then mother duck noticed me, and decided that now was the opportune time for a family photo. As is often the way, the kid was looking in the wrong direction.

Exposure 1/320sec, f/5, ISO 100, exposure bias -0.67

I had another go, but then mummy was looking the wrong way.

Exposure 1/200sec, f/5, ISO 100, exposure bias -0.67

Sometimes I don’t know why I bother.

Anyway, unfortunately, with our return to the park, Holly found herself in a familiar spot…

Exposure 1/200sec, f/5, ISO 100, exposure bias -0.33

This is one of the eternal problems with my obsession with photography – Holly likes to ride her bike. So do I, but I am constantly stopping to take a photo of something. Then she has to sit patiently and wait and watch the world go by whilst I point my camera at everything that moves and a bunch of stuff that doesn’t. On the bright side, she does act as quite a useful spotter, pointing out things I didn’t notice whilst looking down the restricted view of the viewfinder.

Having exhausted the photographic opportunities at the duck pond (quite a while ago, I’m sure you’ll say), I readied myself to go… and found a cricket on my bike.

Exposure 1/160sec, f/5.6, ISO 100, exposure bias -0.67, cropped

I was also quite pleased to discover that my new camera bag has the space to hold my camera attached to my telephoto lens, something which I’ve never actually been able to do properly before.

As we continued our route around the park, we came across some deer in the shadows. Unfortunately it was half way through cycling up quite a mean hill so I discovered how useful the Image Stabilization is on a lens when you can barely breathe or stand.

The deer, however, had no intention of standing.

Exposure 1/20sec, f/5.6, ISO 100, exposure bias -0.67
Exposure 1/25sec, f/5.6, ISO 100, exposure bias -0.67

There was one deer, however, who seemed content to wander around.

Exposure 1/160sec, f/5.6, ISO 100, exposure bias -0.67
Exposure 1/30sec, f/5.6, ISO 100, exposure bias -0.67

Anyway, that’s it for another post. Like I said, there’s not a huge amount here that’s pushing the envelope, but the results are still not bad and it’s all practise, isn’t it?

Oh well, like they say, finish with a song – in this instance the song that gave this post its title. Not that I’ll be finishing with a song that often, mind.

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