Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


Couldn’t resist taking this shot of a very common bird at our neighborhood lake.

Specific Feedback


Technical Details

Canon R7, 400mm f4 DO IS II, 1.4x extender III
ISO 640, f5.6, 1/2000s, hand held

Nice portrait with exquisite detail, Allen. I’m not sure if it would work, but I’d be tempted to try removing the reflection of the bill. To me it’s a distraction rather than a benefit.

A nice close up look at this Mallard, Allen. I love that his beak is open.

A wonderful moment in the life of an ordinary fellow that makes me want to stop and listen. I can almost hear him. The picture is pin sharp. Great settings that froze the motion in a hand-held shot. I agree with Shirley that the reflection is distracting. I am guessing that you cropped the picture. I find it distracting to see only half of the body. Since the head is the point, I wonder if a tighter crop would not leave us wondering where the reflection and the rest of the body are. This is a really fun picture. Thanks for posting it Allen.

I like these types of portraits–details and color are very nice. Mallards can be quite vocal and you caught this guy going on a duck rant. Well done…Jim

So that’s what the inside looks like! :slight_smile:

This is my first time seeing the inside like this, the edges of the lower half looks like it’s serrated or notched. Probably really good for gripping fish.

This is really cool, I’m glad you posted it!

Wonderful pose, setting and detail. The green iridescence in their heads is not easy to catch.

I shot one recently – in our neighbor’s pool! She texted iPhone pictures of one with a very blue head, and found several very nearby sightings on iNaturalist. She pinged me the next day that he was back, with a female and I ran over. But this one only had a very slight bluish tint in some parts of the head. She was quite certain that the first one was much bluer. They do apparently exist and I’m wondering what anyone knows about them. Is it just some temporary variation? Was this one a cousin with only a bit of the coloration?

@Diane_Miller I’m not sure about the blue thing, but mallard drakes are notorious for mating with anything and they do produce some strange offspring. I wouldn’t be surprised at a blue head with a couple-three generations of mix and match.