June 7th – Chestnut Teal

Chestnut Teal

Found in parks and ponds everywhere, the Chestnut Teal duck is perhaps one of the more pleasant to look at ‘common’ birds in the animal kingdom. Though it doesn’t have competition in the Indian Myna, Cockatoo or Fruit Bat (there is a new colony of these ferals in our neighbourhood!).

This family of Anas Castanea (see what I did there?) is found in a nearby off-leash park at the estuary of Tarban Creek. And despite possibly being one of the first birds I can semi-accurately name in this blog, as far as I’m aware it’s diet is limited to stale bread. Perhaps there’s more, but these guys go crazy for the stuff.

However this shot was more about me playing with a fixed-length lens. My Canon 100mm macro lens is not your traditional zoom and is fixed at a focal distance, at a low aperture setting (f2.8). The lower the “f-stop”, the more light is allowed into the lens, the faster the shutter speed, resulting in a crisper image.

Compared to previous attempts of photographing these ducks with my regular lens, a zoom which has a range of f3.5 (wide angle) to f5.6 (when zoomed), the difference is significant. I could pretend I know what I’m talking about and suggest this image “pop’s”.

It’s also something to say for lens technologies. I’m not advocating a case of “the more you spend, the better the photographer”, but investing in lenses opens the door to more advanced optics. There is some heavily researched elements of glass in this lens, resulting in a heavier piece of equipment than your average lens, though the outcomes are quite superb.


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