Taking successful photographs of Canada geese at a local pond requires ingenuity, stealth and patience so as not to disturb the birds in their natural habitat. (Photo Jo McAvany)

Photographing geese at the pond requires ingenuity

Spring is well on its way and the lilac bushes along the front of my house are starting to bloom. I think I will give the garden a few more days and do both a morning and late afternoon photography session.

Along with the spring blooms come this year’s goslings at the pond up the road. I haven’t had a chance to go there yet, but my friend Jo McAvany was able to spend some time there a few days ago and got some great shots using her 28-300mm lens that I have included. The 300mm is a bit short, but she did capture some images of some of the closer families.

Jo said that as usual the pond was alive with all sorts of birds flying through the reeds, ducks flapping loudly in the pond, and there were several families of geese treading quietly along the edge.

It’s always fun to slowly drive up to and beside the pond, then stealthily poke my lens out the car window to, if they geese aren’t spooky, get some photos. I hope to have time to do that before the noisy, car door slamming types that think they can get good photos by running along the road or trespassing in the nearby farmer’s land have started to frequent that friendly place. I would never damage some property owner’s fence or storm up their private driveway just to get photos. However, the past year or so that’s just what I have been told has been happening, no wonder the geese have moved way back in the field.

I feel bad for the farmer of course, but mostly I am saddened by the way some picture takers are treating the geese.

Over the years I have watched that pond’s resident geese grow from only two regulars to more families than I can count. But now the numbers are again dropping and I expect it’s because of those uncaring, disrespectful people that would do anything for a photograph.

Jo proceeded just like I do, and slowly drove by for a few shots in one direction, then going past the pond turned around and slowly returned to the pond on the way back. It’s easy to slowly stop, and without fast movement make a few photographs and move on.

Sometimes that lake is all noise and movement. That’s the time to take a couple quick shots and move on down the road to the pond with the turtles. The turtles don’t mind photos from the car, but they will quickly slip into the pond if one walks along the road.

I am planning on taking the time to go there. I drove past the pond towing a 25-foot flatbed trailer yesterday without stopping. The geese moved off down the pond, but they didn’t seem too disturbed. I am sure if I stopped with my loud diesel truck and noisy trailer they would have really been frightened.

As I have for years, I’ll cautiously drive by with my window down and my 150-600mm lens on my lap. I will have checked my exposure and be prepared before I even get to the pond. If everything is good I’ll get some photos.

Stay safe and be creative. These are my thoughts for this week.

Contact me at www.enmanscamera.com or emcam@telus.net.

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