Another Congress Park Duck Hunt

Photography has the ability to not only capture a moment in time, it also has the ability to soothe the soul.  There were countless times when I was in a dark place in my life, where I thought that things would never get better.  In those moments, I would grab a camera or three, jump in the car, drive as far as I could go, and take a picture of something spectacular.  A waterfall in the Adirondacks, a sunrise in the Helderbergs, something, anything.

Some time ago, I was in one of those dark moods.  It was a Sunday morning and I wasn’t in the best frame of mind.  Still, I decided that a trip to Congress Park in Saratoga Springs would help make things better.  I’ve done this in the past – there’s a flock of ducks that swim in the ponds and streams along Congress Park, and they don’t seem to mind being photographed.

First, I took some test shots with my BlackBerry PRIV camera phone.  Have I mentioned how much I love my BlackBerry PRIV camera phone?  No, I mean recently, have I mentioned it?  😀

BlackBerry PRIV camera phone. Photo (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.
BlackBerry PRIV camera phone. Photo (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.


BlackBerry PRIV camera phone. Photo (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

Simple shots.  Simple and peaceful and serene.

I’m not looking to enter any of these pictures in competition.  These are just for my personal enjoyment.  Little ducks and drakes and ducklings, just enjoying themselves in the park, sharing the grounds with humans.

There was a wedding reception nearby, and some of the ducks waddled over to investigate.  A couple of the bridesmaids shooed the ducks away.  Uninvited guests, I suppose…

After I captured the shots with my digital shooter, I then pulled out the Nimslo camera.  Hey, if you’ve got a roll in the Nimslo, best to take some pictures with it, right?

Two Ducks. Nimslo camera, Kodak 400 film. Photo (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

And of course, as I’m photographing the ducks, my mind races to other thoughts.  Thoughts that were not so dark.

Thoughts about whether Congress Park in Saratoga Springs or Washington Park in Albany has the more photogenic duck flock.

Or why people love ducks, but not geese.

Or why baby ducklings are so darn cute.  I mean, really … they’re cute like anything.

And do momma ducks name their babies “Donald,” or are they more modern and call their kids “Aflac”?

And after staring at these waterfowl and photographing them and capturing their moments…

I felt better.  Maybe not perfect, maybe not joyful, but I did feel less of a weight on my shoulders.

This is a good thing.  To get out on a Sunday morning and photograph nature – it helps to recharge your emotional batteries.

And honestly … it’s the little things in life that make a huge, huge difference.