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Tail Light

Tail Light
Photo Information
Copyright: Karan Little (hester) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-03-31
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 350D / Digital Rebel XT, Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 APO DG Macro
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/400 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-04-01 12:21
Viewed: 3126
Points: 50
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Sorry I haven't been around much but work has been a bit hectic. With Easter approaching I should now have a bit of free time.

The composition of this shot isn't the best but I was concentrating on getting the light right. I liked the backlighting through the rear 'sail' feathers but this meant the rest of the duck was either in bright light or dim shadows. I think it worked out OK in the end after a couple of shots.

Mandarin Duck facts from the RSPB:

Aix galericulata

The male has the most elaborate and ornate plumage with distinctive long orange feathers on the side of the face, orange 'sails' on the back, and pale orange flanks. The female is dull by comparison with a grey head and white stripe behind the eye, brown back and mottled flanks.

Likes lakes and slow-flowing rivers with plenty of surrounding vegetation. Lakes with rhododendron at the edge are especially popular. Needs hollow or fallen trees for nest holes. Frequently found as an ornamental duck.

Where to see it
Main population is in south, central and eastern England, but small numbers occur in Wales, Northern England and Scotland. Likes lakes with plenty of overhanging trees and bushes.

What does it eat?
Insects, vegetation and seeds.

What does it sound like?
Usually silent. Male whistles during courtship.

nglen, Silvio2006, Hil, Alex99, SkyF, star74, patrickb, clnaef, delic, Argus, Evelynn, scottevers7, horia, Debz, pvb, jeanpaul, Juyona has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Hil Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 696 W: 13 N: 1407] (5035)
  • [2007-04-01 12:35]

Hi Karan,

Superb shot of this lovely duck, I think the composition and pose are great, you have captured a lovely warm light that really compliments the warm colours tones of the duck, very nice details too.

TFs Hilary :o)

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2007-04-01 12:37]

Hi Karan,
Excellent shot of the Mandarin Duck. Superb colours and sharpness with perfect natural lighting. Very nicely composed. Kudos.

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2007-04-01 12:39]

Hi Karan, Great picture of the Mandarin Duck, very good colour and detail. great compostion and DOF. well done..

Hi Karan, lovely dukc with wonderful light and colors, lovely efect on the water, very well done, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2007-04-01 12:52]

Hello Hester,
gorgeous shot, the sun light really brings out the colors and details in this duck. POV and the sharpness are wonderful.

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2007-04-01 12:58]

Hi Karan.
I think composition of your brilliant picture is very nice. The duck looks like expensive toy. It is made by skillful master. Its shapes, lines, colours and other details are simply fantastic as well as the reproduction of the water surface and reflections. Superb work. Bravo and best wishes.

  • Great 
  • star74 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 211 W: 3 N: 598] (2474)
  • [2007-04-01 13:07]

Hi Karan,
Very nice shot.
Good lighting and great colors.
Well done.

Hi Karan, great shot, I like the way the light shows through his tail. The colours and sharpness are really very good. I also like the low angle of the shot.
Well done

Hi Hester
This a great capture of this mandarin duck,
Very good light,


This has always been one of my favourites and this shot does it perfect justice. Nice colours combined with focus make it a winner for me.


  • Great 
  • clnaef Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 778 W: 67 N: 645] (6814)
  • [2007-04-01 15:10]

Que voilà un plumage bien entretenu.
Bonne journée.

  • Great 
  • delic Gold Star Critiquer [C: 440 W: 6 N: 310] (898)
  • [2007-04-01 16:21]

Hello Karan,
I think the composition is just fine. You are right about the "tail light." Backlighting has done its work there. The whole picture is sharp and well-exposed. Well done indeed.
Best wishes,

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-04-01 16:31]

Hello Karan,
Excellent capture of this gorgeous Duck, with good sharpness, lighting and composition.
Feral populations of the Mandarine Duck are beginning to establish themslves in Sweden.
Regards, Ivan

The light is nice in this shot Karan. Exposure, color and sharpness all look good to me.

Evelynn : )

Hi Karan,
An excellent job with the back lighting to get the great highlights in the plumage. A beautiful Mandarin Duck. Well done!

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-04-01 22:16]

Hello Karan

What a beauty.The colours and lighting are amazing.Excellent focus and sharp details.Very well focused,the feather at the back looks great.Very nicely done.TFS


These are beutiful water fowl and your picture justifies that. Very nice capture Karan. :)

Hello Karan,
A pin sharp capture!
The plumage has some remarkable details, and the perfect angle of light really brings out the best in this little beauty...
Well framed, and the spice is the tad of distorted reflection!
Pablo -

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2007-04-02 5:39]

Hi Karan

It worked out a lot more the "ok"!!!
I think that under these lighting conditions and angles, you managed the exposure impeccable, having a very beautiful and balanced result!
The "tail light" is very nicely visible and the comparison is lovely and very funny ;))
All the other elements of the duck are also terrific, very clearly presented, with charming and well saturated colors and great sharp details.
The DOF is also exceptional as well as teh POV that gave you this wonderful angle for the light.

Bravo and TFS

  • Great 
  • Debz Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 505 W: 0 N: 847] (3307)
  • [2007-04-02 6:03]

Hi Karen, this is a fabulous shot of the Mandarin Duck! You have caught it in great light, all is very sharp on the plumage and the colour range is great. A lovely POV.

Hello gallery neighbor :) This is a great capture of this beautiful specie. I really like those great tones of colors, details, excellent lightning and composition. I have never seen this specie in "real life". This is very nice! Thanks,

  • Great 
  • pvb Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 385 W: 16 N: 531] (1981)
  • [2007-04-02 15:40]

Hi Karan,
Why do you think the composition is not the best? I like it. From this angly we can see all the lovely colours and feathers. Good sharpness and great light.
TFS Paula

Salut Karan
Il est très joli ce mandarin.Tu t'es très bien servi de la lumiêre.
Très belle composition,les couleurs sonts justes et la netteté excellente.

Félicitaions et merci...JP

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2007-04-05 6:00]

Hola Karan,
bello ave, colores y excelentes detalles,
magnífica iluminación y nitidez,

bonjour karan
la lumiere est bonne sur cette photo et fait bien ressortir les couleurs de ce canard particulier.
netteté et details impeccables.

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