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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: Black & White
Date Taken: 2007-06-02
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 350D / Digital Rebel XT, Canon 100mm 2.8 Macro
Exposure: f/5.0, 1/320 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-06-02 17:04
Viewed: 2600
Points: 42
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I thought I would take a break from my holiday shots and post a simple shot of a female mallard. The females are often overlooked as they are just a brown coloured bird. I have always liked the delicate markings on this bird. I shot in colour but converted to BW to show off the markings in the feathers

Mallard Facts RSPB:
Latin name
Anas platyrhynchos

Swans, ducks and geese (Anatidae)

The mallard is a large and heavy looking duck. It has a long body and a long and broad bill. The male has a dark green head, a yellow bill, is mainly purple-brown on the breast and grey on the body. The female is mainly brown with an orange bill. It breeds in all parts of the UK in summer and winter, wherever there are suitable wetland habitats, although it is scarcer in upland areas. Mallards in the UK may be resident breeders or migrants - many of the birds that breed in Iceland and northern Europe spend the winter here.

Where to see them
It is the commonest duck and most widespread so you have a chance of seeing it just about anywhere where there is suitable wetland habitat, even in urban areas.

When to see them
All year round.

What they eat
Seeds, acorns and berries, plants, insects and shellfish.

Estimated numbers
Europe UK breeding* UK wintering* UK passage*
- 100,000-130,000 pairs 527,000 individuals -

nglen, JoseMiguel, horia, bobair, cataclysta, Altair, Hil, Debz, PaulH, SkyF, Alex99, SunToucher has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To horia: Favoriteshester 1 06-02 17:53
To vanderschelden: Contrasthester 1 06-02 17:14
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2007-06-02 17:10]

Hi Karan. Like the Black /white shot of the mallard. looks so diferent. it shows the feathers of so well. great detail and focus. well done TFS, good notes to.

Hello Karan,
Thank you for sharing your black and white version.
It is truth as you mentioned in your note that these female Mallards
are very beautiful animals with a subtle colouration.
Concerning your posted image I have to say I like the composition. A minor nit could be the contrast. I should increase it a bit without loosing detail in the blacks and/or whites.
Friendly regards,

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2007-06-02 17:13]

Hola Karan,
bella luz, detalles y textura,
un retrato bello,
original pov,

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2007-06-02 17:17]

Hi Karan,
Pretty lady (the duck) and excellent portrait. Pose make her quite cute, with tender eyes and gesture.
TFS, JosÚ M.

Hi Hester,
An unexpected choose of B&W for this subject.
But your idea worked great!
You really focused all the attention on the markings and beautiful patterns of her plumage.
It's very good the way the background is so nicely blurred.
I like it very much this picture!
Congratulations and thanks for share it.
My best regards,

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2007-06-02 17:28]
  • [+]

Hi Karan

Again a different approach and a refreshingly original shot :) I like it :)
You are right, the marking on the feathers realyl stand out more like this and that does bring something special here.
The details and especially the light on the bird is outstanding here - with the visible patches of sunlight making the textures and pattern even more interesting.
The DOF is very well managed and the composition is delicate and beautiful.

Bravo and TFS

PS: many thanks for putting my last opst among your favorites! I am honored.

Hi Karan,
I for one never overlook the female birds as sometimes they are even more eye pleasing than the males.The female mallard has a lot going for it in the details of it's plumage,sure she has an unstated beauty about her but she deserves to be noticed,I never overlook any of our fine wild friends.Your photo has very good detail,focus and the fact you show her in b&w is really a novel thing to do.Tfs. Bob

Hi Karan,
Very nice B&W potrait of this cute mallard. Nice choice of B&W, since female mallard mostly does not have colorful feathers as the male does.
Superb shot.


  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-06-02 22:34]

Hello Karan

A nice B&W treatment of this lady mallard.The contrast is very good.Very good POV and DOF.The composition is very good.TFS


Hi Karan, splendid B&W portrait with great pose, very well done,ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2007-06-03 3:48]

Hi Karan,
Such a pleasing B/W shot of this mallard. Very impressive details and sharp focus. I like your POV to portray the bird and a very precise DOF. I like the glint on its eyes and the elegant pose. Very nicely composed. Kudos.

Hi Karan
I like the comosition and a mood of the photo. I think that you could increase the contrast a little bit.
Best wishes

Hi Karan,
A very fine B&W portrait of the mallard! It┤s sharp and well composed. Great DOF and nice bakground. TFS.

Regards, Peter

  • Great 
  • pvb Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 385 W: 16 N: 531] (1981)
  • [2007-06-03 12:48]

Hi Karan,
This black and white version is very nice. The markings in the feathers are beautiful. Nice pose of the female looking back over her shoulder.
Thanks Paula

  • Great 
  • Hil Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 696 W: 13 N: 1407] (5035)
  • [2007-06-03 14:13]

Hi Karan

Superb shot of the female Mallard, great pose and I really like your composition, the B & W is a perfect way of showing the lovely markings, nice detail too.

TFS Hilary :o)

  • Great 
  • Debz Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 505 W: 0 N: 847] (3307)
  • [2007-06-04 7:05]

Hi Karen, I really like this shot, I agree with you re the markings they are stunning. You have brought out good contrast and tones in the BW shot. Lovely POV with a great profile. Well done.

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2007-06-04 7:11]

Hi Karen,

Black & White approach works well here, as the female is so much plainer colour wise but her markings are much more interesting. This does make much more sense to shoot her in B & W than colour for visual impact. Good composition too. Good idea!



  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2007-06-04 8:33]

Hello Karan,
simply beautiful you mean ;-).
Excellent capture, the B/W tones are fabulous. Great contrasts that bring out the details and texture very well.
Love the crop and the sharpness is excellent.

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2007-06-04 10:37]

Hi Karan.
I like your B/W picture of this amazing duck so much. Your model is charming, its pose is so expressive and quality of reproduction of all its features is excellent. I think that color picture would be great too. My compliments and TFS.

Hi karan,
I really like the conversion to B&W. It makes the markings of the duck even more visable. I am amazed about how close you got to this lady considering you only had 100mm to play with. It did gave you a wonderful photo with great details and a very beautiful pose.

Hi Karan,

"Simple" is often best and this is a shining example - lovely shot, really effective close composition - and as you probably know I'm a big fan of monochrome in the right circumstances - and here it really works well, accentuating the markings beautifully.

Great shot! Hope you're well!

TFS, Doug

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