Tufted ducks Habi­tat

With their bold, black & white plumage and pierc­ing gold eyes, tufted ducks are strik­ing sub­jects to cap­ture over the win­ter months

Amateur Photographer - - Wildlife Watch -

Tufted ducks are wide­spread, and as such are of­ten ne­glected as pho­to­graphic sub­jects, over­shad­owed by other species. How­ever, with their con­trast­ing black & white plumage and pierc­ing golden eyes, they can look very strik­ing. Be­ing so com­mon also has its ad­van­tages: they are not dif­fi­cult to spot, and you should be able to find some near you. I’ve pho­tographed tufted ducks all over the place, from out in the coun­try­side miles from any sort of set­tle­ment, to small ponds in Lon­don. Most open wa­ter bod­ies should hold them, but look for one where you can get to wa­ter level, as the re­sult­ing shots will be more in­ti­mate.

Best time to shoot

Win­ter is a good time to pho­to­graph these birds, as birds from Ice­land and north­ern Europe boost their pop­u­la­tion. Early in the morn­ing or late af­ter­noon ( just be­fore sun­set) are the best times to pho­to­graph as bird ac­tiv­ity is much higher, and if the sun is out, the qual­ity of light is much bet­ter due to its lower an­gle. Shoot­ing at these times also gives you the op­por­tu­nity to ex­per­i­ment with pho­tograph­ing into the light to get sil­hou­ettes, some­thing that can be very ef­fec­tive in cer­tain sit­u­a­tions.

Birds pre­fer to land into the wind, so po­si­tion your­self ac­cord­ingly

Po­si­tion your­self at wa­ter level to cap­ture more in­ti­mate and en­gag­ing shots

Cap­ture a silhouette for a strik­ing im­age of a tufted duck

Shoot just above the wa­ter level for beau­ti­ful blur

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