Wood Ducks in Love

The End! :slight_smile:

Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


I photographed these wood ducks earlier this year and just got around to processing them. I had completely forgotten about this shoot and discovered them as I was scrolling through my early summer images looking for something when I came across these. I thought these two showed remarkable affection towards each other particularly the female towards the male. I thought I would share a few of their tender moments. Thanks for taking a look.

Specific Feedback

The light was very flat and as a result, I left the contrast low and I’m not sure it works well or not.

Technical Details

Z9, 100-400mm lens @400mm, ISO 1000, F/5.6, 1/1000, hand held, manual exposure


Hi David, wonderful interaction you captured - so glad you came across these shots and shared them with us. The color rendition is amazing especially in the male and really highlights the beauty of these ducks. All terrific images well framed and presented.

I think the color and detail are great. I like the first the most due to the look on the male-he seems to be enjoying the attention. Though as a wall hanger, I might lean towards the last one. Wonderful shots.

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These are SO good David. Really outstanding for the pair bonding and the intimacy. I love the tight crops and the backgrounds that set off the different shapes and color so beautifully. Great opportunity meets great skill.

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Really nice frames here David, especially the first one! Great job of processing the low light as well. Love he interaction in the first shot especially

Hi David
Was the male handing out cigars after these frames? Love the series.

These are lovely images, David. I was able to photograph similar behavior last year but it was in the middle of a grass clump half way across the pond, so they didn’t have anything like the impact of these. Great job on the processing.

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Hi David,

Wonderful series. The low contrast works well.In the first image, if you have more water at the bottom will strengthen the comp. Otherwise, crop out the water. The remaining images have enough water at the bottom for a nice comp. A very minor nit and I find all three images very pleasing and it shows pair bonding behavior perfectly. Awesome…Jim

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Thank you for your comments and suggestions @Allen_Sparks , @Allen_Brooks , @_Kris , @Kurt_Bowman , @peter , @Dennis_Plank , @Jim_Zablotny.
No cigars Peter but you certainly had me laughing at your commeny. I love it.
I will add some water back to the bottom of the first image as I know there is water there and repost. Thanks Jim.
Thanks again, everyone. It seems my concers regarding the low contrast was unfounded.

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Wonderful series, I love the high-key like rendering as well as the intimacy of the shots. Number 3 I like best, probably because the water in the lower section of the frame. Nice work ! Cheers, Hans

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Thanks, Hans. I appreciate it.