17th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World
A Common Merganser is flying across the river bed

Common mergansers are migratory to eastern part of India. For last few years, mergansers have been visiting Gajoldoba wetland during winter. Important to note, in this wetland, one has to capture images sitting in a smaller hand-ridden boat, mostly in moving conditions. In this situation, even freezing a bigger size bird like this merganser was not really easy. After spending first half of the day, capturing various wader birds along with the goosanders, I planned to shoot the merganser in slow shutter speed in second half. Due to panning in slow shutter, the background started turning into something washed-off type, but I had to keep the subject as prominent as possible in the frame. Initially, I struggled a lot to materialise this, but eventually my shots started improving. The face of the subject is quite clear although flapping turned into a ‘ghostly’ movement.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 01.2019
Date Uploaded: 11.2019
Photo Location: West Bengal, India
Camera: NIKON D810
Copyright: © Sumanta Basu