Mirror Mirror on the wall who is the most beautiful duck of them all – me the Mandarin. Many experts judge the Mandarin duck to be the most beautiful waterbird on the planet. Both rare and colorful, one was found near Denver, Colorado.
I am very pleased to announce that Mirror, Mirror has been awarded as a Highly Honored winner in the Birds category of the Nature’s Best International Awards Competition.
The image will be published in the 2013 Nature’s Best Awards Special Edition Photography magazine.
This competition is the premier international wildlife competition on the planet, with over 24,000 entries from 50 countries.
I almost missed this photo opportunity. My friend Gary invited me to meet him to shoot the Mandarin duck that was “in town”. The Mandarin duck is a relatively rare duck, and it was amazing that there was one on Clear Creek, near 44th avenue near Denver (actually Wheatridge), of all places. We agreed to meet at 7 am.
I arrive on time, but no Gary. I wait for 30 minutes, still no Gary. I call several times and leave voice mail messages. Gary calls and tells me I am at the wrong Clear Creek location. Anxiously, I find my way. I arrive and watch in amazement as this vibrantly colored little duck swims, frolics and displays for the curious crowd. By now I have lost the early morning light, and shadows are appearing. Gary offers his flash, which I gladly accept. The mandarin takes a break to admire its own reflection and I am thinking “mirror, mirror on the wall…” I fire without thinking. The flash illuminates and freezes the moment: “Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest duck of all? Me, the Mandarin!”
Thank you to my good friend, Gary.
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV; EF 70-200mm ƒ/2.8L IS II USM lens at 140mm; 1/1250 sec at ƒ/2.8, ISO 400; Speedlite 580EX flash; hand-held.