Long-Tailed Duck in the Surf

Shot this recently in New Jersey. I have a bit of a fascination with long-tailed ducks and thought this one was interesting. It’s a bit nontraditional, so I’d love to hear whether other people think this one works.

The original capture was underexposed, so I had to brighten the entire image. I then worked on the duck a bit more to bring out its colors. Otherwise, I just sharpened the bird and reduced noise on the background. All C&C welcome.

Specific Feedback Requested

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
700mm, handheld
ISO 800


Works for me. Often these sort of shots with waves in bg the subject kind of gets lost. Here I think because of the position of the duck on the pinnacle of a nice dark wave and the bg waves are quite far away it seems fine and a really good shot. The only thing I would do is a pano crop taking out the oof fg without losing any of the in focus wave. I think the crop also adds to the long horizontal waves. Such a happy looking pose.

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A different kind of shot, for sure. I agree about a crop from the bottom and would also take off the top breaker. I’d like to see a little more dark detail.

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I really like the open bill and the “laughing” expression it gives the duck, Lyle. I also like the wave it’s riding. The brighter parts of the breakers in the background do tend to draw my eye.

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Hi Lyle, nice pose from the duck and I like seeing the bird riding the wave. I could see cropping some from the bottom to minimize the oof foreground. Nice frame.

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Hi Lyle
Looks like your long tail is getting to hang 10. The only thing I would look at is a 16 by 9 crop. I like the color, detail and framing.

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