Nature Notes

January 7, 2011

Photographing Diving Ducks

Filed under: Photography Tips — Tags: , , — Harold Stiver @ 6:00 am
Red-breasted Merganser Diving

Red-breasted Merganser Diving

I was photographing Red-breasted Mergansers recently and decided I would try to get an image of one diving. I cannot give you a good reason for wanting to do such an odd thing but it gave me two quick results

  • I was able to take a lot of picture of splashing water and no duck
  • I realized my reactions sucked

However, after watching them for a few hours, I realized that they often had a “tell”, something that would let me know they were going to dive. Not always, but occasionally they would tense or hunch a bit, before they dived. Most of my attempts were still unsuccessful, but I was able to get a few images. And here they are.

All Images are Available for Licensing at Singular Video&Pix

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  1. Sounds difficult, but what a great result!

    Comment by Nicole MacP — January 7, 2011 @ 5:38 pm

  2. WOW< awesome shots. The first photo is just amazing.

    Comment by Eileen — January 8, 2011 @ 7:04 am

  3. Interesting action shots! It shows the RBMerg has to lift itself out of the water to get enough speed for diving.

    Comment by Hilke Breder — January 8, 2011 @ 8:24 am

  4. Thanks Hilke.

    It must be difficult to get any depth as they seem pretty buoyant.

    Comment by Harold — January 8, 2011 @ 9:57 pm

  5. Thanks Eileen!!

    Comment by Harold — January 8, 2011 @ 10:01 pm

  6. Thanks Nicole, the toughest part was keeping my fingers warm.

    Comment by Harold — January 8, 2011 @ 10:03 pm

  7. Just fantastic ! Great shots !


    Comment by Jma — January 9, 2011 @ 5:43 am

  8. Wow you captured the moment! Really interesting shot and complete technical control to acheive images like that!!

    Comment by Dominic Gendron — January 9, 2011 @ 3:32 pm

  9. I really like that top shot. I’m green with envy – in a good way 😉

    Comment by Andy — January 9, 2011 @ 9:16 pm

  10. Excellent shots Harold… That’s not easy to do, I’ve been trying a lot but never got any beauty like this!

    Comment by Chris — January 10, 2011 @ 5:51 am

  11. Superb shots Harold. That first one is amazing.

    Comment by Keith — January 10, 2011 @ 11:07 am

  12. I have the good fortune to have a pier that juts 120 feet into the Atlantic. Through the winter, we have RB mergs in here in abundance. I, too have enjoyed capturing all the different activities they engage in on the water. Diving is very comical to me. I agree that they do telegraph their intent if one studies carefully enough. I really get a howl out of them in the spring when they start doing the courting and hen competition thing where they raise thier heads high and race around on the surface. REALLY entertaining. And, of course, to catch them with a crab or little fish is just the best! It does take patience,study and quick reaction time to get the shots you have. Nice work.

    Comment by Robin Robinson — January 12, 2011 @ 8:59 am

  13. Thanks Robin. It would be a treat to have them nearby…Harold

    Comment by Harold — January 20, 2011 @ 11:09 pm

  14. Thanks Keith!!

    Comment by Harold — January 20, 2011 @ 11:13 pm

  15. Thank you Chris!!

    Comment by Harold — January 20, 2011 @ 11:18 pm

  16. Thank you Andy, I had huge numbers of frames that were trashed.

    Comment by Harold — January 20, 2011 @ 11:21 pm

  17. Thanks for the kind words Dominic.

    Comment by Harold — January 20, 2011 @ 11:23 pm

  18. Thanks very much JMA

    Comment by Harold — January 20, 2011 @ 11:25 pm

  19. Absolutely stunning photographs, and so crystal clear. It must have taken a lot of patience to wait for the right moment to capture those dives.

    Comment by portfolioprophetreviews — March 10, 2011 @ 6:50 am

  20. Incredible pictures with amazing detail! I love the reflection from the water. I wish I could capture some shots like this on my Koi pond, but I don’t get too many ducks…:) Great job with these photos!

    Comment by SLR camera deals — June 16, 2011 @ 11:30 pm

  21. wow, awesome blog article. Great.

    Comment by Reagan Almonte — February 19, 2012 @ 4:17 am

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