Wintering Ring Necked Ducks @ local NWLR

Photographing dark birds on a dreary day is always a challenge. I’ve always loved Ringed Necked Ducks and was pleased when these 2 males aligned themselves together.
I’m interested in comments on the overall impact of the image and whether the duck looming in the background improves or distracts from the image.

Nikon D850 Nikkor 600mm f4 1/1600 f5.6. ISO 450

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HI Al, Great poses and detail in the two in front. My tendency would be to remove the duck in the background, it does tend to draw the eye a bit.

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Thanks Allen
I tend to agree.

The detail and color in the two main characters is superb, Albert. I also like their relative positions. The upper duck does seem a bit distracting, but you’d have a lot of empty space up there without it. You might try deemphasizing it a bit with additional blur or maybe some fogging. A very good image.

Thanks Dennis. I try it.

Hi Albert,

The repost looks better than the original… Getting the BG duck out of the scene strengthens the comp…Jim

Thanks Jim.
The main reason for the 3rd duck was, of course, because it was there. I reasoned that maybe the 3rd duck added some context. However the more I tried to de-emphasize it the more of a looming menacing presence it became.