A Photography Session At Fleet Pond

David Pottinger writes:

Liza Toth is a very talented local amateur photographer and has taken some very impressive shots at the Pond. You can see samples of her work here and here (see also the picture at the bottom of this article).

I thought it would be interesting to get Liza to talk through one of her photography sessions and here’s the result. Liza writes:

“Ideally, I like to be out before dawn, for the best pictures. One of the advantages of winter is that this is not such a great hardship, but getting out before dawn is a challenge as the days lengthen.

Accordingly, I was out in the late morning today, which means that the sun was too bright and the photography was more difficult.

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Of course, a compensating advantage of spring is that the babies arrive, usually starting with ducks and goslings, followed by cygnets.

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When I arrived at the Pond, mama duck was sleeping on the jetty, but the ducklings were quick to pounce on the duck and swan pellets that I tossed in the water. (It is only fair to pay for the photo session with a decent currency: pellets, not bread, which is bad for the birds and attracts rats!).

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I try to feed the birds carefully so that the swans do not kill the ducks: I make sure to put plenty of food out for the swans where they are congregating, as far away from the baby ducks as possible. While they are eating, I throw pellets to the baby ducks in a separate area, luring them far from the swans.

At one point, the ducklings walked onto the jetty and I fed them there. Here is a picture of them on their walk.

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During the course of the morning, other photographers also came out to the Pond. The baby ducks were getting all the attention, and the swans seemed a little put out.

After a while, a β€œnew” swan appeared, being returned to the Pond by the Swan Lifeline Animal Rescue Service in Eton (their number is 01753 859397 if you ever see a swan in need of help).

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This particular swan had been at the wrong end of a fight with another swan, and was glad to be home. He celebrated by flying around the Pond several times.

Every month, I aim for at least one calendar-worthy picture of Fleet Pond. Last year, I sold a few Fleet Pond calendars and donated the profits to the Fleet Pond Society.

This will probably be the April picture for the 2016 calendar, one of the final shots of my photo session today (see below).”

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Many thanks to Liza for giving us some insights into how she goes about getting her pictures!

For completeness, here’s the shot that was the People’s Choice Winner at the FPS Photography Competition for 2014:

FPS Photo Comp 2014 Liza Toth

Photo credits: Liza Toth (please note that all the above photos have been reduced in size for publishing on the blog).

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