Coot in Golden Water

Hi All,

One of my last two posts from 2013. I shot this at a NWR outside of Memphis. For years, I tried to get a photo of a duck swimming through this golden water, but this coot is the only bird that ever obliged!

In post, I just straightened the shot, cropped for comp., resized, worked on the black levels a bit, and sharpened the bird. All C&C welcome.


700mm, handheld
ISO 1600

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Very nice position for the Coot. With respect to the reflection, I think I would move the crop up to the base of the head. You do have some blue cast on the body, which is normally dark gray but not as dark as the head and neck. The plumage on the head and neck with respect to detail and depth of black is perfect.

I agree with David on the reflection. I love the color and blending of water to the background. You did a great job with the exposure range between blacks and whites. I kind of want a little more room on the top but I think if you take out the bottom as David suggests, it will make that unnecessary. The light and detail on the bird is beautiful.

Lovely light and water. I think the exposure on the bird looks great. I gotta ask though, do you have more room and was there a full reflection before cropping. I’m just dying with the bottom of the frame cut off.

Thanks, @David_Schoen, @Terri_Barnett, and @Keith_Bauer. This is basically full frame minus straightening. I figured there’d be comments about the reflection. I almost cropped up to the base of the neck before posting. Was interested to see what the comments would be. Doesn’t bother me as much as others. Good catch on the blue plumage.

It would be real easy to use content aware fill to add to the top…

That is gorgeous water Lyle, and I think you were lucky that the Coot gave you the shot. It doesn’t compete as much as another color would. There’s an old saying in the fashion industry (at least so I’ve been told) that Black goes with anything. I do think this would be even nicer if it were a tad further right in the frame.

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Hi Lyle, very nice details in the blacks and I love that red eye. The water/background is terrific. A full reflection would be nice but as you say I could see cropping the partial neck out.

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The golden water is great (and so is the image as posted). I would like to sea a full reflection, but I understand that is not possible. The presented image is beautiful, but the bird is a lot less dark.
I don’t need more space at the top, especially with the partial reflection the top is fine for me. I agree with @Dennis_Plank that it would be even nicer if the bird would be a bit more off center.

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Thanks, @Dennis_Plank, @Allen_Sparks, and @Han_Schutten. I agree that moving the bird a bit more to the right is a good idea.

Beautiful water color Lyle. Wow. Incredible contrast with the black coot. Not a huge fan of images that are centered but this works although if you have room to the left I would place the coot more on the right side of the frame to give it ore room to look left. Great head positionand exposure. I also would like more room along the bottom. If you’ve got more real estate down there it would be trendous to have that added back.