Pintail and Whitefronted Geese Lift Off

Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


The ducks and geese were starting to build up a bit in the Sacramento Valley last week. This was taken at the Colusa National Wildlife Refuge.

Specific Feedback

You go from shooting sitting ducks in scenery to these takeoffs and forget sometimes to speed up the shutter speeds. I like the overall effect of the blurred wings, but wish the pintail was a bit sharper in focus.

Technical Details

Canon 7D MII, f29, 1/400 sec, iso 800, 560 mm (100-400 lens with 1.4 TC)

Wow, looks as if they were right in front of you when they took off. I’m usually disappointed when I take shots like this, but would be very happy with this one. I like having the trees and sky in the background rather than just sky. Yeah, the pintail could be sharper, but still a great shot. I know what you mean about having the settings for one type of shot and then suddenly something else occurs where you wish the settings were different. I don’t recall, now, the setup for the 7D, but on my R5 I have a back button I can quickly press for birds in flight with a fast shutter speed. I’m waiting for the day when we can give our cameras verbal commands for the settings.

Thank you Allen. This is full frame, no crop. They were pretty much right in front of me. Now I’m going to have to research my 7D to see if it has the back button feature. It’s been a while since I’ve had much time to work on photography, and I am relearning, and newly learning a lot right now.

Hi Ed. I do love the composition and the crowd in the take-off which is really hard to convey. The softness is a drawback. I don’t recall the 7D having quite that much programmability to the buttons, but I could be wrong.

Hi Ed, I like the surroundings for this shot and the diagonal of birds going through the frame is dynamic.
A shame the settings didn’t match the unexpected action. I’ve been in that same boat many a time also.