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Opinion: How-to take quacktastic photos

The University of New Mexico’s duck pond is a fun and accessible location to practice nature photography. I will take photos of the animals in the area while waiting for my friends to get out of class, or when I have some free time.

Taking close-up photos of the birds requires both time and patience; one must move slowly and quietly to avoid scaring the animals. This can be difficult because the slightest movement to get the photo could cause the animals to run away.

There can be two methods of getting close-up shots. I highly recommend staying and waiting in one spot. I have had ducks walk close to me several times when I was simply enjoying the view. The other approach is to slowly walk towards a duck for a perfect shot. This is a method that can be quite difficult and has caused me to freeze in awkward positions so I could get the photo.

If you decide to take photos with a digital single-lens reflex camera like me, a long lens is the way to go. It allows more distance between you and the animals so they don't move away from you. It particularly helps with shots of ducks in the middle of the pond or birds in a tree.

As fun as it is to take images on my DSLR, you don't need an expensive camera to get amazing photos at the duck pond. I have taken beautiful nature photography with my cell phone. A fancy camera doesn't determine the beauty of the images you take. That's all up to you enjoying the moment.

Jessica Baca is the photo editor for the Daily Lobo. They can be reached at or on twitter @Jessica_Baca_

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