Mallard portraits

Click on gallery images for larger views.

When I go to see the birds at the bird sanctuary there are usually lots of mallards around, but the last time I was there, there were thousands on thousands of them, and it made me realize that I really take these beautiful birds for granted when I’m there. But I do find the hens particularly appealing in spite of their plain brown jackets. Actually, they’re very pretty brown jackets, I love the detail in their feathers, but the boys certainly are much flashier. So I decided they deserve a little exclusive attention in the way of four head studies.

And just for fun, here’s another version of the first image. I have some unused and new art apps and I spent some time playing around with them during the last few days. Unlike the chickadee image earlier in the week, where the software did almost all of the heavy lifting, with this image I used a couple of apps in addition to my usual workflow, but was much more hands-on with the processing, and of course I changed the background.

Mallard drake digitally painted head study

I’m really pumped about getting back to the sanctuary while the snow geese are still there and perhaps get some captures worth posting… My largest lens, the 55-250mm, really isn’t up to the task with the distance involved, but my thinking is that the more I’m there, the better my chance of a great goose shot. We’re expecting a visit from Hurricane Ana next week, altho by then she’ll be a tropical storm, but it likely will mean lots of rain and wind, not very conducive to flight shots of the geese.Β  Perhaps some storm images…not that we get big waves around here (we’re in the lee of Vancouver Island). I hope the weather improves before the geese leave…



17 thoughts on “Mallard portraits

    • Thanks, Chris. Yes, I love the color of the mallard drakes’ heads, but it’s interesting how some of them seem to have a gold/green iridescence, and others have a blue/green iridescence. But as flashy as the boys are, I do love the hens, the hen profile image is my favorite of these.


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