Faster than a speeding bullet

I hope these two photographs show the speed Mergansers fly at when skimming the water. The first pair of Red-breasted Merganser was photograph on April 6, 2021 at the Back River and the Common Merganser was photograph on March 22, 2021 at Essex River View Cemetery.

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Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
Canon 7Dll, Sigma 150-600mm. First shot: 600mm, F7.1, 1/1600, -.7Ev, ISO 800, Cropped by 50% into a 16/9. Second shot, 600mm, F6.3, 1/1250, -.3EV, ISO250. also crop by 50% into a 16/9. On this shot I used Nix Collection filters to add more microcontrast.

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Nice job on these, Peter. I have trouble even getting them in the frame. The drake in the first image is nice and sharp. I’m wondering if you have a typo in your settings for the second image. It seems a bit noisy which doesn’t make sense at iso 250. Was it supposed to read 2500?

Common merganser’s are very quick. Good job on the detail and flight position in the first image. I do notice the noise the second image but prefer it because of the background.

Hi Peter,

I am amazed capture these ducks as they are fast. I like the first one as the image has brighter colors than the second. Some details have been lost due to cropping and hopefully you will get a flight shot of them when they are much closer to you. Well done…Jim

Thank you for the comments. The ISO on the second Merganser is correct 250. When I first posted this shot I didi not see the noise on my iMac. I believe the noise was produced by the Nix Collection sharping. This program usually has a very nice outcome, but it lack masking. Here is a repost without the Nix Collection.

It looks like the noise definitely came from the sharpening, Peter. Interesting that it added so much in this case.