Mallard Pair w/Reposts

With Lighter Reflection:


With Full Reflection:

Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

I don’t think Mallards get enough respect. Here in the PNW, Mallards, Canada and Cackling geese are so numerous that we tend to just slide by and look for more exotic birds. Mallards have to be in terrific light, a special pose, or action for me to stop and grab a shot.

I saw these two in a synchronized movement and knew I had to get the image.

Specific Feedback

Normally, I don’t think overlapping subjects work very well. I feel like this one really does. Anyway, let me know your thoughts. Of course colors are always important so please let me know if the colors look good.

Technical Details

600mm, 1/500sec @ f/8, ISO 4000

I agree with you comment on Mallards. Like robins they are very common here in the PNW, but both have great colors and photograph well. Good job on this pair to get both in focus, so I’d say this works well and the colors look natural.

This is great David. You got amazing detail in the feathering and the lighting is perfect. It feels a bit tight, but that just shows off the detail better. I also agree with you on the Mallard, Canada geese and Robin comments.

Excellent, David. While common, the drakes have really beautiful plumage and the females, while tamer, are nonetheless quite beautiful as well. This image shows them off very well.

David, no apologies needed for photographing this handsome pair. The drake is a sticking looking fellow. From the jaunty curl in his tail to the iridescent greens in his head he deserves more attention. The way you have shown the position between them is perfect. I did not realize the hen has a blue green patch on her bill. This is a wonderful reminded to look around us and enjoy what is common. I have one very small nit. I would like to see the whole reflection of the drake.

Hi David, nice color rendition on the mallard and I like the pair together like this. Common but beautiful birds. Nice frame.

Overlapping works great in this comp David. The key here is that each head, eye, and bill is visible. Wonderful colors; water makes a good BG without being too bright and the ripples indicate movement. Very nice treatment of a common subject.

Excellent!! Nice matching poses with great detail! There is nothing common about being able to capture the green in the head – it’s so easy for it to go black. Wonderful detail and the light on the water is gorgeous!!

Like @Barbara_Djordjevic, I wouldn’t mind seeing more at the bottom, or else maybe lighten the shadow just a bit. The visual weight is a bit heavy at the bottom.

@Allen_Brooks, @Ed_Williams, @Dennis_Plank, @Barbara_Djordjevic, @Allen_Sparks, @Jim_Lockhart, and @Diane_Miller thanks for the kind comments and suggestions. Sorry for the delay in responding. I am knee deep in another mass purge of my image catalog.

Barbara, I posted the full reflection above, it sort of falls apart at the bottom, which is why I cropped it out.

Diane, I also posted a version with a lighter reflection, and a little more crop. I think I like this one best.

Thanks again for the great comments and suggestions.


I vote for the full reflection! Reflections do fall apart and in this case it gives it some breathing room and a very nice natural softening at the edge. That’s better than the cut off version, for me.

I agree with Diane on this one David. I like the full reflection best.

I am with @Diane_Miller and @Ed_Williams, and now the composition feels complete.