The Ugly Duckling

Kodak CX7430, taken in 2005 at Swan River, Perth. 

The above image kind of reminded me of the classic children's tale "the ugly duckling". Then again, from the photograph I took, the reality was a lot less cruel than the original tale. On another thought, that white bird could just be a seagull goofing along. Whatever it was, I thought this was quite an interesting photograph. Whatever it was, that moment was very special to me. I was on my way home from the city, taking the TransPerth bus number 102 close to sunset. The bus took the riverside drive, and as I was looking out the window over the majestic Swan River, I saw huge flock (do you call them by flocks?) of ducks in the river. Though I was still about 5 minutes bus ride away (and about 20 minutes walk to where I lived) I immediately stopped the bus and got down. I had an old, now dead Kodak Easyshare CX7430, a 4MP dinosaur and I started making shots happen. 

The famous boathouse. 
The only reason for such odd composition (harsh tilting) was to fit everything in the frame. It was badly composed, but at least we get to see almost everything I wanted to show you. I did not have a wide angle back then, it was something like 34mm equivalent focal length at the widest. 

Little did I realize, these shots turned out to be some of my favourites. I failed to capture what I felt seeing the hundreds (could be thousands) of ducks, swimming together.But the memory of being there was still crystal clear. 

I was laughed at of course, when I told my friends I stopped the bus for these shots, which appeared to be ridiculously illogical to have to walk extra 1-2 kilometers. Yes, the laughter still stings sometimes, when the things you choose to do are being questioned. I felt like the "ugly duckling". Sometimes, only after a long period of time, we will start to see the bigger picture, and all those little things that we did, they helped to shape us up, and build us into something much bigger. 


  1. *hadi nik*

  2. Quite interesting shots, I feel. The white bird is also interesting because it's not, like most of the black (dark) ducks looking to the left. It's looking away from the camera, it seems.

    The second composition is different, and the strong diagonal lines really work. I like the patch of blue sky contrasting the patch of dark soil on the bottom left. And the colors on the cloud and sky are nice and dreamy.

    Which only proves that 4MP dinosaurs can make interesting pictures, too. It's never about the gear, and never has been.

    1. Thanks Andre for the kind words and sharing of your thoughts. I do think the second image has too much tension, which made the photo quite uncomfortable to look at. I was already standing at the roadside, if I were to stand further back I would be in the middle of the road to capture a wider scene !! Hence I tilted the frame to fit the boathouse and the ducks. Weird composition, but with a purpose !

  3. I have been reading your Blog and am now a follower of your shutter therapy belief. It is so easy to read the "gear" forums and get caught up in getting the latest and greatest gear, when the reality is the gear will not help ones' therapy as much as the act of just getting out and shooting....I hope you always have time to post to your Blog, because it reaffirms the real reasons to maintain this hobby and I enjoy reading and learning....

    1. Hey Dwight,
      Thanks for the kind comments, and thanks for visiting my blog !!
      I guess it works both ways, I also need my readers to remind me of the real reasons for photography !!

  4. I'll make you jealous - I still have my old Kodak SLR/n and I like to use a Voigtlander 40mm 2.0 Ultron on it. Wonderful combination. I have to charge up the batteries and shoot - have not used it for awhile.