The Opener

Edmonton, Alberta

Early Risers

By Rick Adair

It was a late-October morning in a harvested barley field near Edmonton, Alberta. Several flocks of ducks had swarmed the spread early—some birds even landing in the decoys—but this was the first big group of mallards to come in after legal shooting time. The four hunters had waited patiently in their layout blinds, but now the guide had given them the green light to “Take ’em!”

My camera was mounted on a beanbag under a goose decoy, keeping it steady and hidden. Since legal shooting begins 30 minutes before sunrise, light is limited—especially that far north—necessitating using either a slower shutter speed or higher ISO to get enough exposure. For this shot the shutter was set at 1/6 of a second, resulting in the ducks’ and hunters’ movements being blurred. (I am actually in the blind second from the right using my iPhone to remotely trigger the camera.)

It was a glorious start to a bluebird day in the field.

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