Playing The Long Game: Outdoor Photography With Telezooms

Top Quick Tips On Photographing Ducks

Brush-up on your wildlife photography skills with these top tips on photographing ducks.

| Animals / Wildlife
Top Quick Tips On Photographing Ducks: Duck


Feeding ducks is something everyone enjoys but next time you head off for your Sunday morning stroll around your local pond, pocket your camera as well as the treats you take for the Mallards and Swans.


1. An opportunity to get close to wildlife

As ducks are used to people visiting with goodies they're not usually skittish so getting close to them shouldn't be a problem. Even still, taking along a small bag of birdseed to scatter will keep the ducks in front of you for longer increasing the chances you have of getting a good shot.

Flat banks are the perfect location for photographing ducks as the low angle gives you a shot that has more of a duck's eye view. If you don't want to work hand-held, take along a light-weight tripod or beanbag to sit your camera on.

2. Which season is best?

Winter's a great time to head to the water's edge as the sun sits at a lower angle for longer which means you don't have to get up at the crack of dawn for softer light. You'll also get mist rolling over the water – perfect for silhouetting a bird against. For a bit of variety try shooting their reflections or look for interesting behaviour such as fighting or preening activities.


3. Need more details?

If you find their feathers are lacking in detail try adding a little fill-in flash. Just remember for birds such as Swans that have lighter feathers you'll need slightly stronger light. This time of year when lakes can be slightly frozen light will be reflected off the icy surface back under the duck, highlighting detail in their plume. For particularly gloomy days switch to a slightly higher ISO so you can use a quicker shutter speed. If you're out when the sky is rather bright keep an eye on your exposure if Swans are around as a white bird against a bright sky may mean your camera underexposes the shot.

For shots of birds in flight make sure you're on continuous focus and get the focus locked on the bird straight away. To freeze their movement in the air or when they're splashing on the water try a shutter speed of around 1/500sec but if you want to be a little more creative try to blur the motion of the wings with a slower speed of around 1/30sec.   


MPB Start Shopping

Support this site by making a Donation, purchasing Plus Membership, or shopping with one of our affiliates: Amazon UK, Amazon US, Amazon CA, ebay UK, MPB. It doesn't cost you anything extra when you use these links, but it does support the site, helping keep ePHOTOzine free to use, thank you.


Other articles you might find interesting...

How To Photograph Animals In UK Wildlife Parks
4 Top Cat Photography Tips
Why Use A Telephoto Lens For Wildlife Photography?
Basic Butterfly Photography Tips
Photographing Dragonflies And Damselflies
How To Stop Wire Fences Ruining Your Wildlife Shots
4 Top Tips On Photographing Dogs At The Beach
Top Summer Show Photography Tips


lulubelle Avatar
lulubelle 6 20 United States
21 Sep 2017 9:13PM

Maine Canada Geese
silversnapper1 Avatar
11 Jul 2021 8:52AM
Shouldn't this read 'Top quack tips on photographing ducks'?

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join for free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.