Monday, August 19, 2013

Stars of the Pond

Late in October of 2001 I took a small, point-and-shoot film camera to the duck pond for a few test shots. Back then, there were a lot of ducks and geese that were always willing to hang around and pose for just a few slices of bread. The picturesque little pond has been expanded and surrounded with a wide concrete sidewalk. It's a much more functional place for people to walk and jog, but nowhere near as photogenic. Most of the waterfowl have moved away to more natural habitat.
This photo has become one of my favorites. It's actually an accident. I can take credit for the composition, but the stars and dark contrast of the white feathers against the water are accidental side effect of the camera design.

The bright white birds and reflection on the water tricked the camera's automatic exposure system into thinking the scene was very bright. In these situations most cameras will underexpose, making the photo dark. The stars result from the camera s​electing a very small aperture. I was surprised when I picked up the film from the lab, but I liked it.

Until now, I haven't done much with the photo because the original negative is rather noisy. Lightroom 5 cleaned it up fairly well. It will never be good enough for extreme enlargement, but it will make a nice medium size print.

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