As tough as the winter has been in NY recently, I keep thinking what it’s like in other places where this kind of snow, cold and ice is common like Iceland, and it seems to put things in perspective. Suggesting that on one of the coldest days of the year with the wind chill factor even comes close to comparing to some of the coldest places in the world is ridiculous but again, put it all in perspective. I’ll let the image speak for itself and I’m sure this was like a playground for the ducks and it could have been 95-degrees in the summer and it wouldn’t seem to bother them at all. It was KILLING me!!!
The back story is the fun/ridiculous part. It was a windy 18-degrees and I’d been shooting for about an hour and a half. I went out to tune up with the long glass for a meeting I have later in the week. Like most situations when you’re about to score an image, I was ready to pack it in and head to the warmth of home and my beautiful wife… BAM… The ducks were startled, they started flying off in waves and within seconds I had to turn focus and fire. I’ll take credit for the aiming the camera and the D4 and lens combo did the rest.
I truly have no clue what startled the flock and it’s impossible to send my gratitude but I was slap-happy none-the-less! With hands that were numb from the knuckles to the tips of my fingers (in gloves) I was working with the D4, 600mm f/4 NIKKOR and the TC-20e III Teleconvertor.
It took about an hour to get the feeling back and the burning sensation to go away in my hands but well worth it for the final photo.
Not much done to the image outside of a crop, slight contrast adjustment and minimal work around the shadows and highlights. When I pressed the shutter release it instantly reminded me of a conversation I’ve had with my brother in arms Joe McNally. The feeling of euphoria that you get when you fire the camera and you KNOW that something magical just happened. I think he refers to it as “The Moment It Clicks”.