Canon 300D, handheld.
Sigma 135-400 at 135mm
ISO 400
f5.6 at 1/400 second
Credit the light
wood duck

There's very little you can do about conditions in nature photography, except take advantage of them (or curse them — there's that, too.) In this case, a drowsy male Wood duck (Aix sponsa) was keeping an eye on me as a spot of morning light broke through the trees to highlight his head while the rest of his body was still in shade. While I could appreciate the highlighting of the lively coloration of his head, I'm just as pleased with what happened in the background.

Numerous other ducks were keeping the background pond well agitated, and the surface reflected the rich autumn colors of the surrounding trees, which were illuminated by the morning sun in the clear blue sky. Freezing the motion of the water with the faster shutter speed gave a great surreal effect to the background, accentuating my subject nicely.

Taken in Sarah P. Duke Gardens in Durham, North Carolina on the same morning as the previous shot in the gallery, while waiting to meet a photo student, so a generally good day all around.