The better half + repost

Hooded Merganser female which I personally think is a prettier duck than the Male counterpart.

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Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
D500, 500mm (300 w./ 1.7), f5.6, 1/2500, iso 560

Yes I agree, the hooded merganser female is a prettier dock than the male counterpart. Great point of view and nice portrait framing. Perhaps a tad over sharpened.

Thanks Dave, I use TK to size and sharpen for web, it will oversharpen, have to watch it. I Never sharpen the files I keep anymore, I try to just keep tack sharp frames and they will almost need no sharpening even downsizing so it gets tricky when I do.

A very pretty shot with lovely colors. The reflection is pretty in its own right, but for me it competes with the subject too much.

Oh boy you sure got nice soft colors. Exposure processing look really good. I like the nice soft touch to the mergansers crown. I think if the highlight in the reflected eye is taken out then reflection is less noticeable.

Beautiful portrait of this lovely lady, Dan. No nits from me.

Beautiful shot Dan - thanks for sharing.

Thanks all, Diane, I agree with you, This is running out of pixels for a D500 but here it is.
Cameras matter but the 300 f2.8 lens is under rated.

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Indeed, a nice and subtle duck compared with the drake. Why did you choose for this cut instead of the full bird? Cheers, Hans

Beautiful soft colors and great sharpness, really a top shot - its as the bird is looking at me

Thanks Hans, here is the full frame image cropped to level the bird only…
It is a bit tight in front is the reason I went with Headshot…