Photo Stories

The Story Behind the Photo: White-cheeked Pintail

The Photo Story

In February we stayed at the Excellence Resort in Punta Cana.  The Excellence resort had an Ecological Park that turned out to be a great place for nature photography.  At the Ecological Park, there was a flock of these beautiful White-cheeked Pintail ducks.

White-cheeked Pintail

White-cheeked Pintail ducks are rarely seen in North America.  They are predominately found in the Caribbean, South America, and the Galapagos Islands.  White-cheeked Pintail drakes and hens are similar with the hens having duller colored bills and shorter tails.

I couldn’t ask for better lighting in this photo.  I really like the soft light on the duck’s face and catch light in the eye.  It is also great how the blue sky and clouds are reflected in the pond.

Details

Camera:  Olympus OM-D E-M1
Lens: Panasonic Lumix 100-300mm f/4.0-5.6
Focal Length:  246mm
ISO:  400
Aperture:   f/7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/200 second
Exposure Compensation: 0
Lighting:  Clear, sunny morning

Post Processing

  • Cropped the photograph in Lightroom 5.
  • Processed the photo using the Fur and Feathers Filter in Topaz Clarity.  This filter is located under the nature grouping. 
  • I selectively darkened the white / blue sky reflections in the water using the Brightness / Contrast Adjustment Layer and a Layer Mask in Photoshop CC.
  • Used the Darken / Lighten Center filter in Color Efex Pro 4 to highlight the subject by lightening the duck and darkening the background.
  • Used Google Viveza 2 to additionally lighten and darken portions of the photo.
  • Used Topaz Denoise and a Layer Mask in Photoshop CC to selectively remove the noise from the photo.
  • Selectively sharpened the image using the Unsharp filter and a layer mask in Photoshop CC.

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Photographing Wood Ducks in the Fall at North Chagrin Reservation, Ohio
Photographing Ducks at the Castalia Duck Pond

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