Mallard Hen Portrait - Repost Second Image (Pair)

Mallard Pair

Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


This mallard hen swam over to where my wife and I were standing on the bank of our local pond and climbed up the bank to say hello. Then her mate came on up the bank and said hello too. Several of the mallard ducks at this pond seem to come over near us when we are doing our walks and just pause to see what is happening along the bank. I posted the hen that actually flew over to us a month or so back. She was desperately trying to get away from the two pursuing drakes at the time. These are wild ducks, but I wonder if someone has been feeding them at some time or another. We don’t see evidence of feed scattered around, just suspicious that it might be happening there.

Specific Feedback

I tried to get down on her level to get this shot. She was closer than ten feet from me and I had to back up to get my lens to focus. Too tight? Too bright?

Technical Details

  1. Canon 7DMii, f11, 1/1600 sec, iso 800, -0.3EV, 100-4001.4TC at 560 mm.
  2. Same specs, but 140 mm.

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The portrait is great - female ducks are beautiful and don’t get enough attention :slight_smile: The detail in the feathers and the dirt on the bill are nice.

I would consider maybe making the background blurrier so the big dark patches aren’t quite so prominent. Otherwise, really nice shot.

Very nice portrait of the hen with good detail and color. For a portrait, I feel your comp works well. The colors look good on the male.

Hi Ed
I see you know how to make a Mallard shine.

Very good job on the female portrait, Ed. I could see doing something on the background there, but I don’t think it’s too serious an issue. In the image of the pair, I like the ducks, but something about the background just looks weird to my eye, and I can’t pin it down. However, I love her head turn in that one.

Nice portrait Ed. The details are great and I love seeing the eye so well including the pupil. Nice job getting low to get us on her level. The large in the frame composition works for me and keeps me focused on the bird.

Thank you @debbie_campbell, @Allen_Brooks, @peter, @Allen_Sparks and @Dennis_Plank for your kind remarks. Dennis, I appreciate your eye with the BG color. This was a couple months ago, so I’m a bit fuzzy on my processing. I think what I did to keep the drake’s head from blowing out was to tone down the greens, only I did it for the whole canvas, not just selectively the drake’s head. I’ve gone back in and selectively tried to liven the greens in the BG up a bit more.