Hoodies in Flight

This image has been moved to the top because it’s been chosen for this week’s EP in Avian. It’s highly unusual to pick two weeks in succession for the same subject and shooting session, but this was just too good to pass up despite some other excellent images in the pool-Dennis Plank


Water Striations


Get out of my way!


Shot in the eye


Chasing the Ladies


Female Merganser Fall colors in the middle of Winter


Crazy Background

Critique Style Requested: Standard

The photographer is looking for generalized feedback about the aesthetic and technical qualities of their image.

Description

These were all taken at the same location as my last post. I thought I would share a series with the Hoodies in flight. It was tough to cull through the flight images as many were fairly similar looking but with different backgrounds and water colors and texture.

Specific Feedback

Please let me know your favorite male image and your favorite female image. I think I’m
going to do a project which was mentioned by Dennis Plank in my last post but I want to gather your thoughts before putting that one together.
I will post a third series on behaviors and posturing after this one. Thanks for taking the time to have a look.

Technical Details

Z9, 400mm with built in TC for all images, varying SS, ISO between 2000 and 3600 for most images

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Favorite Male: Shot in the Eye - Favorite Female: Water Striations
Very hard to decide that - I’m looking forward to seeing yet more and the project!

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Chasing the ladies and water striations.

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Love them all, David! If I had to choose, I’d pick “Get out of my way!” and “Water Striations.” Can’t wait for the third series.

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Wow, you are killing it with the hoodie shots! I love them all.

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David, these are great! The last batch was great too. Congratulations on the EP. The action here is so good and I love the reflections in the water. Nice colors. Really nice, thanks for sharing with us.

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Wow, another excellent series, David. Simply awesome.

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Boy, you’re sure making it difficult, David. Every one of these is awesome. I’ll go with “Shot in the Eye”, though I really, really like “Chasing the Ladies” for just the sheer beauty of it for the male. For the females, I’ll go with “Water Striations” with “Fall Colors in the middle of Winter” as a very, very close second. I can’t find anything to improve in any of these images except possibly the background in the last where the out of focus stuff is perpendicular to her direction of motion and kind of blocks her flight path.

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Fabulous images David! So hard to choose the favorites. I’ll go with “Shot in the eye” for the males and “Water Striations” for the females. Love these action captures with great poses and water color for background. No nits from me. Awesome!

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All exceptional shots. I’d be happy with any of them. For the wing positions, showing the hood, and the colors in the water, I’d go with Chasing the Ladies and Fall Colors; Shot in the eye is a close second. For a project, all are worth viewing IMHO.

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Nice series David! My favorite is probably the Shot in the Eye. I really dig the reflection and hoodie standing up as well as the water color. But alll are nice. Keep up the good work!

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Wow!! All are excellent! I don’t know the nature of the project (maybe you don’t yet, either) but I think you should choose the ones to use by the way they fit together rather than by votes on individual favorites. Start with a lot and cull down the outliers. Consider cohesive composition and lighting as well.

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I’ve never done a project before so I’m not quite sure how I want to present it. My thoughts are similar to yours. Have a theme and don’t just fill the project with my or your favorite shots but tell a story with the shots and use images that have the same or similar aspect ratios and possibly even background colors. Where I shoot these birds it is very lush and green so the water colors are a reflection of the vegetation. There are also Fall colors happening NOW (I know, a little bit late but it is southern California so we are lucky if we even get Fall colors) so some of the water color is an orangey/red from trees that are at peak color right now.
The males and the females are so different looking I’m not quite sure how to showcase them in a project but I’ll figure something out. Maybe the nature of the project will be “One day in the life of Hoodies during breading season.” It’ll make me think. :grin: Thanks, Diane.

Thank you for your detailed thoughts on your favorites and your thoughtful critiques @Mike_Friel , @Jim_Gavin , @linda_mellor , @_Kris , @Ed_Williams , @David_Bostock , @Dennis_Plank , @Allen_Sparks , @Allen_Brooks , @Kurt_Bowman , @Diane_Miller .
I very much appreciate it.
The favorites were kind of all over the place but “shot in the eye” seemed to rise to the occasion. I almost didn’t include it because it’s not really a flight shot but more of a candid, funny type of shot. This male was chasing a female and you could clearly see his frustration in an upcoming image I’ll post tomorrow as part three of my day with the hoodies. She would have none of his shenanigans. She’s just out of frame scooting away from him.
Thanks again!

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Hello David, I like every photo and I can’t decide if shot it the eye or chasing the ladies is my favorite.

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Many thanks, Dennis for the EP. And thanks for moving that image to the top. It was just one of those sessions that’s a once in a lifetime shoot.

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Spot on wonderful flight shots. Wow, I am in awe, just love looking thru them all, and will again!

Wow. Thank you Judi. That is very kind of you. I’m glad you loved them. They certainly are quirky little ducks full of character.