This Bufflehead Drake was just preening the other day, but it gave me some incredibly cute poses in the process. The slight curve in the bill always makes it look like he’s smiling which helps the effect. I’m posting a set of three images of this action. All of them are pretty substantial crops as these birds tend to keep their distance and they’re not very large.

Specific Feedback Requested

Anything. I know some of the whites are pretty featureless, but the sun was directly on them so there wasn’t much detail to capture.

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
Sony A1, FE 200-600 + 1.4 TC @ 840 mm, Monopod with Wimberly sidekick, f9, 1/2500, iso 1600, manual exposure. Processed in LR & PS CC. Typical crop was to about 3600 x 2450. Taken on March 10th at a local pond.


All very nice. They are skittish, so I’m impressed you got close enough for such good detail despite the crop. I like the first one as it shows the iridescent colors the best and I like the open beak. The second may be the cutest. For me, the eye doesn’t stand out as well on the third. I like the color of the water and the low level you were able to shoot at. The green area in the RUC on the first shot is a bit of a distraction.

Really good job in all of these. Excellent focus, water textures, and colors. I think I like the one in the middle best because of the head turn in concentric rings around the duck.

Hi Dennis,

All three are quite good and I like the first for action and the middle one for the pose over the third one. The whites look good and it is nice to see the greens and purples showing up on the head…Jim