My first geese photos of the year.  

The ice has been melting along the river all week long and I wondered if the pond up on Duck Range had melted enough for the geese to return.

The days have been warm, but the nights were staying at freezing or near freezing. However, in spite of the day’s constant drizzle of cool rain I was curious to see if there were geese on the pond and if there were any goslings yet.

I suspected I was early, but grabbed my camera, put the ISO up to 800, then mounted my 150-600mm on it, tossed the beanbag on the front seat of my car and headed out up the road to see.

I slowed down just before getting to the pond and rolled my window down. Hmmm, there is a hint that I am from a past generation. I haven’t seen a car that one must actually turn a crank to “roll down” a window in years. Anyway I pressed the switch and the window slowly and quietly sank out of sight.

I drove very slow hoping I wouldn’t disturb the geese. Ha, fat chance! From the rise above the pond there began a loud racket of honking sound. There went my attempt at sneaking up on the anything near that pond. I’ll have to check my Honda’s manual to see if there is a stealth mode.

The pond was filled with ducks and geese, but no ducklings or goslings yet.

I photographed the three sentinels before they could find cover. Then drove past and turned around so I could stop and shoot from the cover of my car.

Much of the pond still had a smooth cover of ice and there were more than one kind of duck paddling along the edge or just standing enjoying the slight drizzle that had been going all day.

I photographed the ducks and what geese I could see on the pond and tried to get some good photos of the geese that noisily flew off.   I didn’t do badly, but I think some of the avid bird photographers I know in Kamloops would have been better prepared than I was when the pond exploded with splashing water and flapping feathers.

I stayed for a while and the pond calmed down and became quiet giving me at least a chance to photograph the ducks and geese that finally decided to ignore me.

Those that read my articles about trying to photograph the pond’s geese last year will remember my disappointment because they were nesting and feeding on the opposite side of the hill. This was my first trip to the pond to photograph the geese and I am determined to get some good shots this year and plan on a weekly visit.

I left the beanbag in my car just in case.

What is Your Favourite Photographic Accessory?

Accesories

Thursday mornings at my shop, I always have coffee with several friends. The conversation is always good, lively and is, of course, usually about photography.

Last week we ended our morning conversation discussing how off-camera flash technology was advancing, and I had mentioned how amazing it was to be able to synchronize a camera’s flash at 1/8000th of a second, and how I liked the versatility of positioning a speedlight with the off-camera flash bracket that I use.

Later that day as I thought about what my friends had talked about that morning, I got to thinking about how some accessories make our experience as photographers easier. There is always lots of discussion about cameras and lenses, but photographers only seem to mention occasionally the accessories that they use.

I decided to post the question, “What is your favourite photographic accessory?” on a couple on-line photography forums, but I received very few replies. I suspect “What is your favourite camera or lens” would have gained more attention. Nevertheless, here are some responses that I selected.

This first from someone called Hawaiiboy says, “I would have to say my tripod combined with my wired timer/remote.”

Then Merlin from British Columbia wrote, “My iphone.  I use maps to find my way around and play birdcalls when needed.  It acts as a flashlight at night.  Oh yeah I can even make phone calls with it.”

The third I’ll include is from a Toronto, Ontario photographer, “My 10 stop Neutral Density filter is right up there.”

Another photographer called Cicopo in Ontario posted, “My cable release and tripod because that allows me to shoot from a higher perspective and steadies my camera.”

Dave from Alberta included, “I would have to go with the obvious ones like an air bulb blower, and micro-fibre cleaning cloth. I photograph mainly out side so I use them a lot.

A photographer named Matt that shoots in Manitoba wrote, “My monopod, the next best way to stabilize my camera after a tripod. I also use it like a walking stick during my weekend hikes.”

My wife Linda leaned back over her chair, after I interrupted her reading with the question, and said, “My polarizing and graduated ND filters. I shoot mostly scenics and those filters help me control the sky.”

From Saskatchewan, Gary wrote, I’d include my 5 in One reflector as my favourite accessory. I shoot portraits and always use a reflector.

I think my favourite commentator was Hendrik, from Alberta who wrote, “My bean bag. It gives me the best stability I can ask for; it enables me to shoot from the safety of my car and lets me use my car as a blind. When I am out a whole day and stop for lunch, I can use it as a super comfy pillow to lay down in the grass and look at the clouds flying by.”

I’ll add one of my personal favourite accessories. I have written many times in the past that I almost never photograph people, indoors or out, without adding light from a flash. My favourite accessory that makes that all so easy is a flash bracket that I use to lift my flash way up off my camera.

I am sure readers will have their own, even if they never think about it, that is there in the camera bag, always waiting and ready to be used. These favourites that I listed from my responses aren’t that special, they are just those accessories that, as I wrote earlier, make our experience as photographers easier.

I like comments. Let me know what you think.

My website is at www.enmanscamera.com