Wood Ducks

Final Image:

Uncleaned Image:

Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


Another from Wednesday morning at the local pond. Getting a pair together, both cooperating and in relatively clear water was a challenge, but I finally had one pair that gave me a few frames. I don’t know if this species pairs up anew in the late summer/early fall or if they tend to stick with their mates of the previous season, but the definitely seem to be going in pairs already.

Specific Feedback

I did a lot of cleanup on this (I’ve included an uncleaned image-and this was a clean part of the pond), but I didn’t want to get totally carried away with it so there are still some small spots that could be addressed-does it matter? Anything else in composition or processing?

Technical Details

Sony A1, FE 200-600 + 1.4 TC @ 840 mm, monopod, f/9, 1/160, iso 2000,manual exposure. Processed in LR & PS CC. Cropped to 7950x5126. Taken November 15th at 9:43 AM under overcast skies.

The clean version is excellent, Dennis. This is an amazing capture. I love these ducks and had a lot of experience at wildlife rescue at St. Louis. They are very beautiful birds.

Beautiful image Dennis. These are such magnificent ducks and this captures their amazing colors very well. Love the reflection too and the two swimming together. The clean up looks great. Well done.

Great view of the pair and the clean up helps direct the eye right at the birds and the water looks nice as well. The male gets all the attention, but the female has some nice subtle coloration that you captured well.

Dennis, I’m enjoying your wood duck images. Very nice details in both ducks, which the f9 setting made it possible I would imagine. Excellent job on the cleanup. There was a lot of old leaves, etc. in the water.

Hi Dennis
It is amazing the coloring on this Wood Ducks and the reflection is a nice plus.

Very nice double Dennis! I like the cleaned up version best of this pair. I also like the reflection. The whites on the tail feathers look to be pushing it but not sure you could have done much about it with the lighting conditions you had.

Wow – wonderful! The soft light and calm, clean water are so nice together, with the gorgeous reflection. The cleaned up image is simply beautiful – what a difference to be able to toggle between the two! I’m not sure I have ever gotten a pair of anything with both adequately in focus.

Hi Dennis! This is a wonderful capture. Such gorgeous birds, and you got both in focus and presented well. Great detail too. Even a near perfect reflection. Well done!

Hi Dennis,

The DOF is perfect and both ducks are nice and sharp. Your cleaning of the spots on the water is EPA worthy and enhances the comp. Awesome…Jim

Lovely pair and your choice for aperture worked very well. The clean-up is nice as well, my own preference would probably end up with something in-between. Either way, a very nice shot, congrats ! Hans

Good of you to close the aperture sown to nail both of these beauties. Great job on the clean up as well. That’s a lot of clean up. The flat light worked in your favor on this image and the water is nice and calm and dreamy looking. Great job getting a pair to cooperate for you.