Tag Archives: common goldeneye

Weekly Photo Challenge: Light

How fitting!  I’ve been struggling with light settings on my camera because I know nothing about how a camera works and I mostly use the autofocus setting.

Plus… I like to photograph waterfowl and if the sun is bright, it adds another light challenge of reflecting off the water.

Female common Merganser
Female common Merganser

I asked a friend why the white parts of so many of my photos looked so bright and lacked detail.

He said that photos taken in low light will make white surfaces whiter and you get a washed out look.

Female Hooded Merganser
Female Hooded Merganser

Even if I tweak the photo in some photo software, I can’t completely compensate for my lack of knowledge of how to use a camera.

Mating Ritual of the Hooded Mergansers
Mating Ritual of the Hooded Mergansers

My friend did give me some tips though so I’ll keep learning and trying to apply it to get better pix.

The hooded mergansers were fun to watch.  I assume it was a mating ritual.  The female stretched out flat in the water as the male swam away from her; stretching his neck forward, then retracting it.  Then he’d swim back toward her doing the same thing.  When another female came toward her, she chased her off.  At that point I think her coyness was busted.

2 youth and 1 adult Goldeneye
2 youth and 1 adult Goldeneye

Today the Goldeneyes spent a lot of time feeding in front of our house.  I think these are Common Goldeneyes instead of the Barrow’s Goldeneyes.

Adult Goldeneye
Adult Goldeneye

I presume the autofocus camera can compensate for lack of light by slowing the shutter speed.  I think that’s why these photos aren’t focused perfectly.  If it were film I could see that slowing the shutter speed would let in more light due to the time it is exposed.  But I wonder how a camera over-exposes a digital image?

duck dive
Dive! Dive!

I do know that a slower shutter speed doesn’t stop action as well as a quick snap.  That’s a Goldeneye-side-flip.

Today’s Gifts

We woke up to snow this morning.  It was a pretty blanket of white and about 30F.  I was really hoping it would warm up before I had to go into Waldport this afternoon though.

Rainbow Over the Alsea River
Rainbow Over the Alsea River

Sure enough, the snow melted!  But I didn’t dream of seeing a rainbow today.  I didn’t even think it was possible to see one in our little valley!  The Alsea River is on the north side of our house.  If the sun is higher than 42 degrees, you won’t see a rainbow because the angle isn’t right.  There’s also a pretty tall hill on the south side of us.  (I come from Utah so I know better than to call this a mountain.)

Male Common Merganser
Male Common Merganser

So we watched birds while we puttered around the house.

Common Merganser
Common Merganser – Female or 1st year Male

I couldn’t zoom in close enough to tell if this is a female Common Merganser or a 1st year male.

Common Goldeneye
Common Goldeneye

The Common Goldeneye always stumps me.  The bright eye should give it away but I seem to look in the wrong part of my bird book and end up asking an expert.  This is a female.  I haven’t seen a male lately but I’m sure he’s around.

The weather held out until it was time to come home from Waldport tonight.  A hail storm hit just as I was going through town.  It was pounding!  But as soon as I got past Eckman Lake, the road was barely wet.