Testing the water....

by Melanson Jody

testing the water seeking critique melanson jody

Gallery: Single Photos

Tags: seeking critique

Category: Wildlife

Exif Information:
Make : Canon
Model : Canon EOS-1D Mark II N
Date Time Original : 2009-03-21 14:05:58
Focal Length : 400/1
Shutter Speed Value : 1/1327
Exposure Time : 1/1250
Aperture Value : 8.0
F Number : 8.0
Iso Speed Ratings : 400
Flash : 16
Metering Mode : 3
Exposure Mode : 1
Orientation : 1
X Resolution : 75.2500000
Y Resolution : 75.2500000
Software : Adobe Photoshop CS3 Windows

Published: Sunday 22nd of March 2009 01:37:14 AM


Marc Epstein
A great shot, Jody. 7/7a

Robert Becker
Jody, conditions were definitely in your favor. Lighting was suitable enough to give you a nice catchlight in the bullet's eye as well as catching that irridescence in the head/neck feathers. An added bonus is the fact that the water surface is mirror smooth to allow us to see that wing tip dip.Congrats on another great photograph. PS. This was done with the 400 on the Bushhawk, I presume?

Wendy de Kok
Wonderful flight shot with nice details. Really like the way the wing tips the waterline!

Walter Tatulinski
One of the best in this genre that I have seen in a long time! Regards.

Sinh Nhut Nguyen
Getting these guys in focus is hard, exposing these guys properly is even harder. I like your title. Excellent shot.

Ali Hussein
nice job ! a.r. 7/7

Sonali De
Wonde4rful shot. Excellent exposure. Regards.

Monte Stinnett
Nice wing drag and a catchy title. 7/7

Ray House
Beautiful... I like the crop as is, to me the reflection is just right. Very nice work in all respects.

Christopher Schlaf
Fantastic shot Jody.7/7

Armindo Lopes
Technically spectacular! Congrats.

Warren Kaplan

Jill Vahlquist
Amazing colors and details... Love that the wing just touch the water... Great capture... Regards Jill

Christine R
Great image, very nice details and reflection. (7/7 an) Best regards Christine

Joe Biegel
Great shot!

Louis Blair
Really exceptional shot.The tip of the wing and the trace in the water are amazing

Giangiorgio Crisponi
Jody congratulations a very good image, the light is excellent, ciao Giangiorgio 7/7 an

Art Xanthopoulos
every now and then you come across an image that exhibits technical brilliance. this is that image Jody, well done

Elisabeth Jordan
Exceptional clarity and detail for this! The water was cooperating to give you a smooth as glass capture too!

Jaap ter Steege
Awesome shot Jody.Compliments and regards, Jaap.

didier marchal

Tony Hadley
fabulous - great capture 7/7 anon

Radu Carp
A so delicate and perfect shot,well seen and done,regards Radu.

Joel Laverdure
7/7 Perfect !!!

Kiran Rambhatla
As much as I like the picture, I like the title better. Water's so still. Wonder what time of the day was this taken at. Anyways, congrats on a great picture. 7/7 Definitely.

Maria Benabbass
Dear Jody your great shot is eye gear, its almost hard for me to understand how you photographed such a rare event. smart and observant. well done; Maria

Fred Cosner
beauty full I don't know what you do for a living but this is one of the greatest shots I have ever had the privilege to see. I have photographed many birds and other wildlife but you have captured the true spirit of water fowl. I applaud you and know of the many no shots it takes to get one like this. mc2gallery

Patrick Hudepohl
Response to Testing the water.... by Jody Melanson

Please note the following:

Dougity B
Testing the water.... by Jody Melanson

Quite an effective counterpoint to last week's discussion about capturing time and motion. Perfectly caught. I wonder if the photographer saw this before it was captured, or saw it during editing.

Sāleh Zangāneh
Testing the water.... by Jody Melanson

So great capture. It's really so dynamic and energetic. Its caption is so excellent too. In fact every thing about the photo is very good and very well done. The gray color of the background made the bird so lively.
congratulation dear Jody. Wish you success. Warm regards to you, Saleh

Bobby Karimipoor
Testing the water.... by Jody Melanson

Beautiful presentation and strong shot,according to details,well light managing and reflex...the subject choosing and composition is nice .

Good title for this shot...Regards(Bobby).

Jeff Grant
Response to Testing the water.... by Jody Melanson

That wing tip touching the water really takes this image to another level. Without it, it is still excellent but with it we are shown something very special. It is certainly an effective counterpoint to last week, congratulations Jody.

Michel Sakkas
Testing the water.... by Jody Melanson

At first sight, this is a great shot. But when you look at it more closely you might ask yourself some questions. Why is it that we don't even see a feather of the right wing nor its reflexion ? You can see some wave effect in the reflected wing, and the water is totally flat ? It is a lovely composition, and i might be wrong, but it seems to me that this result could not have been reached without the use of PS.

Stephen Penland
Testing the water.... by Jody Melanson

Jody's bird photographs are stunning and amazing, especially for being caught at a precise but exceedingly fleeting moment. This is no exception. I hope Jody will respond to Michel's questions -- they seem reasonable observations and could have a natural or PS explanation.

Ken Thalheimer
Testing the water.... by Jody Melanson

Perfect timing with a great title. Beautifully exposed through the cloudy day. Congrats on POW

Phil Hawkins
Testing the water.... by Jody Melanson

IF this is a real photo it's a tremendous capture. I don't think it's real. I'd like to see the negative or raw file. Water absorbs light as it reflects and no water reflects 100% of original. There is no difference between the duck's wing and the reflection, therefore I think it's a fake reflection. Plus, where is the reflection of the right wing? The background is too perfectly seamless, it's just too perfect to be real. BUT, if I am wrong, then bravo. But I remain dubious. This photo is bogus.

Jon Hallberg
Response to Testing the water.... by Jody Melanson

From what I have seen of birds in flight this seems unlikely. Dipping a wing is a great way to crash, at the speed of flight, the water would cause too much resistance. And ultimately there is not reason to do it, its not like there are nerves out to the end of the feathers. The surgical slice into the water, and no splash. So I have to put it in to the fantasy realm where I find it less interesting. The reflection and the foreground/background not a hint of motion and it looks cut out to boot. I miss a background that would suggest to me that this was in anyway real.

Gerry Siegel Honolulu
Response to Testing the water.... by Jody Melanson

It does come across with a constructed and artificial flavor. Sort of a conceptual duck,like the swans in Swan Lake. Pretty though. It is going to be strictly a matter of taste and I can see loving and also rejecting it as a nature study at the same time.

Stephen Penland
Testing the water.... by Jody Melanson

Without any response from Jody, I've come to conclude what Jon Hallberg so ably described. Ducks just don't do this, and there are so many other possible artificialities, along with Jody's statement that this is not an unmanipulated photo, all lead me to believe that this is primarily a concept that was created on a computer rather than a natural event that was captured by a camera in the field. To some that matters, to others it doesn't. To me, it matters. Nevertheless, it does not detract from other amazing field photographs that Jody has made, at least one of which is in my favorites folder.

David Baldwin
Testing the water.... by Jody Melanson

. The duck is too bright for the light conditions Jody describes. The "water" isn't water. I live around too much water and know well what it looks like in all conditions. The duck looks like a painting to me. But what do I know, except that I still love it. It IS art to me. Well done Jody.

DL Anderson
Testing the water.... by Jody Melanson

I have now studied this image over several days and have looked over Jody's online portfolio. This image does not differ from a fair number of her creations. Although she has a fair number of captures of birds she presents with their original context, there seems to be perhaps 15% that are cut and pasted, presumably because there were other contexts of the image she felt detracted from the overall image, or did not have a certain look she was after. Though this may be a sin to the purest, it is not to all.
As far as concerns over a wing dip. True that there is no need or desire to dip a wing while cruising in flight. However, the wings frequently do come into contact with the surface during the struggle of "lift-off" from the water.
Jody never presented this image as a pure capture, as stated previously, she was truthful in it manipulation. This image is a portrayal of a humanism into the natural world. I believe the bird, the refection, and possibly a portion (if not all) of the "wake" is real, well captured, and lovely to look upon its new backdrop.

Jody Melanson
Testing the water.... by Jody Melanson

I can't believe how many of you are falsely accusing me of faking this photo! This is straight out of the camera, saturated, curves, and cropped.
Obviously many of you don't know what you are talking about, as I have seen many birds have a wingtip or two in the water while flying. None of them crashed. Look at the reflection. Think of a mirror, the rest of the bird would be further down in the frame. The other wing is on the other side of his body and since you cannot see it in the bird himself, what makes you think you would see it in the reflection?
Pretty sad that I have to justify this photo. What a society we live in.
The RAW file is for sale for $500.00
To answer someone who asked if I saw this before it happened or envisioned this, no. This is a male Bufflehead Duck. He is about the size of a can of pop with wings. He flies at about 70mph. You have no time to plan anything other than to try and keep the little bugger in the frame!
To those of you that complimented the photo, thank you. To the rest of you, I feel sad for you that you go through life looking for the negatives instead of enjoying the positives.
Wow. :(

DL Anderson
Testing the water.... by Jody Melanson

I am glad to stand corrected, my knowledge of birds and their ways may not the strongest. I still love your photo.

Jox Teodocio
Testing the water.... by Jody Melanson

Undoubtedly an excellent shot, I find that the absence of a true horizon takes something away from the image.

Testing the water.... by Jody Melanson

An excellent image Jody. While I have little knowledge of birds, I do have a slightly better than average knowledge of photography, and imho this is a superb image. Don't let the detractors ruin it for you. This is an image to be proud of. Congradulations on a superbly captured bufflehead.
All the best,

gordon b
Response to Testing the water.... by Jody Melanson You've done a fine job of keeping " the little bugger in the frame ! " .

Fred G
Testing the water.... by Jody Melanson

I think it's reasonable, though a little unfortunate, that the conversation about this photo got sidetracked and became about the so-called "reality" or "unreality" of the shot. I guess in some instances, and nature would be one of them, that seems a legitimate question. There are times when I wonder, in all genres of photography, whether or not something was done in camera or in post processing. Especially in a forum of photographers, and especially with a shot like this, it seems a reasonable thing to wonder. Asking questions of the photographer is often a good start. Nevertheless, assumptions are often made and they can be telling as well.

I think regardless of how this was made, there are things that are attractive about it, most noticeably the exposure, which has captured the color, the detail, and the texture quite breathtakingly.

That being said, it's not enough for me. The photo hasn't much life, for me. Artificially created or natural, it looks and feels still and sterile. Knowing how it was created doesn't change that for me. I feel little dynamism or energy. Even though due to existing weather conditions, the lack of environment and the seeming isolation of the bird makes it, for me, more clinical than emotionally or visually appealing. The lack of movement adds to that.

I've long been an advocate of the point of view that "natural" isn't everything, no matter what kind of picture it is. Sometimes "natural" doesn't translate to a compelling image, sometimes it does. Certainly, it may be a consideration in some situations, and the fact that something is "natural" will help us appreciate it. But that's really just a bottom line. The photo still has to stand on its merits of content, interest, composition, etc.

There are many photos in Jody's portfolio that reach me more than this one . . . not because they are more or less manipulated, but because they have more life and spirit.

Christopher Schlaf
Testing the water.... by Jody Melanson

I can tell you that I tried several times to photograph these guys in the spring and yes they are like pop cans with wings that go like hell.I was unsuccessful in getting anything worth while and will have to wait until next year.This is one top notch image the fact that the wing just barley hits the water really adds to it.As usual Jody (Who is a male) great shot.


gordon b
Testing the water.... by Jody Melanson

None of the arguments put forth convince me that this photo has been manipulated. I am not categorically stating that it is genuine however I will say that the reasons for doubting its authenticity are far from compelling.
Birds do indeed hit the water with their wings while taking off and landing on water and I have plenty of photos of their wings doing exactly that.  I have never seen a duck or shorebird crash as a result of clipping the surface during take off or landing. Some are less than graceful, but a full out crash landing, nope never seen one.
When panning a rapidly moving object  ( Jody quotes 70 mph ) at an f stop of 5.6 with a 400mm lens the background is indeed going to be remarkably uniform.
If you take a knife blade or a flight feather tip and slice the water with it there is not going to be any splash so the absence of a splash is to be expected.
I can see the shoulder of the rear wing which is simply in a different flight motion ( straight out )  to the forward wing. From the angle the photo was taken there would be no reflection of the other wing.
In most instances I find these recurring and painfully redundant exchanges about the degree to which something has been photo-shopped , at best tedious. With this photo the issue actually has some relevance for me.  The single thing which this image has going for it , in my opinion , is the success with which the photographer rose to the challenges inherent in this type of photography and the one off shot he walked away with. I can admire the workmanship even if the photo does not speak to me on any other level. If I were to become convinced that this is a duck cut and pasted onto a gray backdrop with a filter effect ripple then the whole thing comes down like a house of cards for me.

Gerry Siegel Honolulu
Response to Testing the water.... by Jody Melanson

There is nothing wrong or deceptive with the image. It is a beautiful bird. It does seem to come down to how one interprets this type of image. It is certainly not a logo type image. I find "conceptual images" - if I am allowed to call it that-interesting in their way. They reveal essentials which the mind accepts and actually enjoys. Photography has wide boundaries I mean . The duck photo falls within the category of honest nature photography. And whether it succeeds in representation is a matter of judgment where we all have different reactions I have not looked at the gallery, so I comment on it only a solo image,where I can agree some with Gordon that it "does not speak to me." It is a good looking image of a waterfowl. I like to think one can evaluate it a POW on many levels without insulting the intent of Jody or his integrity.

John A
Testing the water.... by Jody Melanson

One downside to showing manipulated photos, as Jody does in her portfolios, is that people will assume all of your images are manipulated. This image certainly does have the feel of manipulation and since it is not an activity the author objects to, such a conclusion seems reasonable.

To purists, manipulation is a big no no. Nature photography aficionados may only be surpassed in their intolerance of manipulation by photojournalists.

For the rest of us, we just look at photos and they work or they don't. Some genres don't really hit us. I actually got my first thoughts of getting into photography by some bird photographers I worked with. But by the time I actually started shooting, it was not of much interest to me anymore. I toyed with the idea of nature photography, but quite honestly found it kind of boring. So, when I look at an image like this, I look to see if it works artistically. What happens here is that, like others have said, there is just a keen sense of sterility. This looks like a specimen on a museum table that is ready to be studied. The background a perfect studio gray with not a grass or twig or any disturbance. Not even a gradation of any sort. The colors and the detail are wonderfully captured, but I just am left feeling that it is something to be clinically or scientifically studied rather than something that inspires and I would want hanging on a wall.

I am not duck expert or water fowl scientist, so I don't know if this captures detail or activity that would be of value to them. Although I appreciate what it might take to capture such an image, and can enjoy the detail on some level, I am just left a bit cold.

Stephen Penland
Testing the water.... by Jody Melanson

Jody, it's not just the society we live in. It's the technology we live with. Sometimes it's difficult to tell what has been captured and what has been created. This is especially true of exceptionally difficult captures. What is needed in these cases is an explanation from the photographer as to how the photograph was taken and the degree to which the photograph was altered to add or subtract elements that may not have originally been seen by the camera. Given today's technology, I don't think that's asking too much, especially if the photograph involves wildlife. Some photographers offer a fair amount of detail, and this is greatly appreciated by viewers who are aspiring to improve their own photography.
I'm a wildlife biologist and have seen a fair number of buffleheads on the wing, and I've never seen them dip a wing in the water. But now I know that it can happen. This and your photo of a great gray owl about to pounce on a vole (http://photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=5207902) are two of the most amazingly precise firings of a camera shutter that I've ever seen.

Stamoulis Theodorikas
Testing the water.... by Jody Melanson

Great work. Amazing capture of the wing touching the water, perfect timing and title. I admire the details and the technique. Congratulation.

Dougity B
Testing the water.... by Jody Melanson

Jody, thanks for answering my question about whether you previsualized this beforehand, or first saw it in editing. In either case, it must have been an exciting moment when you first saw it.

I think what a lot commentators are reacting to is this picture's perfect expression of timing, sharpness, motion and exposure. I mean, look at it! It's glorious! (In other words, it looks too good to be true. How many of us have tried to accomplish a shot of this caliber only to fail miserably?) These days, it's too easy to challenge a picture's authenticity because perfectly taken pictures can be so easily explained, and dismissed, with references to Photoshop-type software.

Setting aside technical matters and origins, as a picture I think the composition presented a big enough challenge in itself. I wonder if you would answer one or two more questions: First, the crop is barely vertical, almost square. Did you shoot this horizontally in the camera and then crop the sides out? I'm curious how large the duck was on the sensor. 2nd, I'm sure this wasn't your only shot. How many exposures did you make in obtaining this one gem? And 3rd, is there anything that you feel would have made this shot better for you, for example, bigger (or smaller?) image size on the sensor, more or less blur, better compositional options, etc. ?


Mary Ball
Response to Testing the water.... by Jody Melanson

MODERATOR NOTE: Posts claiming this is not a photo have been edited or deleted.

Please note that this photo was chosen for discussion. On photo.net we have manipulated and unmanipulated photos and they are all acceptable as a pick for the POW which is not a contest but - as stated - chosen for discussion. The discussion should take the form of a critique.

The critique can be - what you like and why and what you don't like - and why. We don't discuss if you 'like' that a photo was manipulated. We do discuss "if" it was manipulated why it works or does not work.

We also don't accuse someone of manipulating a photo..... We ask.

Comments that are not critiques are also deleted unless you are asking the photographer a question.

Thank you.

Jeannean .
Response to Testing the water.... by Jody Melanson

From a very uncritical eye, this says "Peaceful" to me. I like it a lot.

Phil Hawkins
Response to Testing the water.... by Jody Melanson


No one is criticizing THAT it is manipulated, we all are simply making the observation that that is our opinion. If you are going to invite comments and critique, knowing if it is a real photo or a Photoshop creation is germain to that discussion. The photographer has a history of posting manipulated photos, thus the reason for the direction of the thread. The issue can be readily put to bed by the OP posting a screen shot of the original RAW file in a RAW converter w/ image number reflected. She wont' do that, so the debate continues. Make us all recant and apologize; post the prooof and she is vindicated.

Chuck Nelson
Testing the water.... by Jody Melanson

Jody, to use a golfing term, this is a hole in one. And like a hole in one, some people will never believe you have one. It is quite simply a stunning shot. Congratulations!

John A
Response to Testing the water.... by Jody Melanson

I am new here and apologize if this is in the wrong place, but I just noticed that my post had been slightly modified(first time to my knowledge). In this case, it didn't really change my meaning. However, since I have no ability to delete or re-edit my own words once posted (or externally edited), I think it would only be polite and proper that a notice, at the bottom of the post, be attached that indicates that there has been external modification of the words. This in case the edit changes the author's meaning and let's others know it may not accurately reflect same. I don't doubt that every effort is taken to keep the original spirit of the post, but I am sure there are times, as others have noted these past few weeks, where the meaning is not left as the author intended.

Such an "edit" notice would at least be an indication that the words are not as the author wrote them.

Thank you.

gordon b
Testing the water.... by Jody Melanson

I think that you have a good suggestion. Having had some of my past postings edited to the point where they became incoherent has left me at times frustrated and reticent to post any further comments. While I do not envy the moderators the tough job of keeping this forum on topic and I do appreciate the efforts involved, a simple notice that the post had been edited would seem appropriate.

This is not the place for such discussions. The forum regulations suggest that any comments regarding the pow forum be posted to photo.net Site Feedback Forum

I'm sure you could start a new thread over there as this post and yours will need to be deleted.

Richard VanWart
Testing the water.... by Jody Melanson

What a stunning and spectacular capture! Funny that it's generated the comments of disbelief -- don't take it personally, Jody! Your work is phenomenal. This is a superb image. Congrats on such an amazing accomplishment.

Steven F
Testing the water.... by Jody Melanson

The only complaint I have about this image is name and copyright in the lower right. In my mind it is just a little to close to the main point of interest which is the wing hitting the water. Also it looks like the text was over sharpened which I also find distracting. All that said I understand why you put the copyright on it. Overall, It's a Keeper!

For the others, you can often see very still water in the early morning when the wind is typically at its calmest. The camera is pointed down very slightly so all of the background is water. Given the size of the bird and lens used most of the background is also out of focus. A smooth out of focus water background gives it a very smooth look. The really hard part about this shot is spending the time to wait for bird and to have the skill needed to quickly respond to get the shot.

PS: I also appreciate all the detail you put into the details page. Although I would cut it down to lens, camera, shutter, aperture, and iso. I find this information helpful in understanding what was done at the time the picture was taken. Often I don't see that. Thanks.

Robert G.
Testing the water.... by Jody Melanson

Very good crop , and perfect timing ,the wing touching the water gives a nice touch ,
my only real knock is that I did not take it ! :)

John Mac
Response to Testing the water.... by Jody Melanson

the painterly impression is fantastic - beautiful example of what was once printmaking 7:7

John Mac
Testing the water.... by Jody Melanson

I posted my comment first and then read over the comments and I'm a bit amazed at how narrow minded they are. Whether the image is straight from a raw image or a combination of an image and what an artist brings to the work seems to me to be such a silly comment in the face of the history of nature studies.
If this is straight from a raw image with only photo alterations to saturation, contrast, and levels, it's even more of an amazing capture then most are likely to capture in a lifetime. It embodies the hand of the artist in the representation beyond the cold image typically produced by a machine.
Good for the elves - it's truly an amazing work and an outstanding choice for the POW!!!

Stephen Penland
Testing the water.... by Jody Melanson

John, you contradict yourself regarding this image. First you say you're a bit amazed at how narrow minded some of the comments are. You suggest that whether the image is straight from a raw image or a combination of an image and what an artist brings to the work seems to be such a silly comment in the face of the history of nature studies. Yet in the second paragraph you state that "if this is straight from a raw image with only photo alterations to saturation, contrast, and levels, it's even more of an amazing capture then most are likely to capture in a lifetime." That's precisely the point of many of the previous comments. It's often difficult or impossible to tell the extent to which an image has been captured or created. If an amazing image has been captured, that is a very significant accomplishment; most would agree it's more significant than if the image had been largely created. That's what much of the discussion was about (at least that's my interpretation). I'm glad Jody finally responded and assured the viewers that it was a captured rather than created image (i.e., the bufflehead's wing barely dipped into the water and Jody captured that precise moment when a small wake in the water was formed). That makes it an exceptional image, IMO. The moderator stated that we do discuss "if" it was manipulated why it works or does not work. Well, we first have to know whether it was or was not manipulated, and Phil Hawkins articulated this very well. There has been a lot of value in the discussions, and I think the moderators have as much to learn from this experience as do the viewers. Finally, my congratulations to Jody Melanson; this is not the first incredible image I've seen from Jody, and Jody is on my "favorites" list because of those images.

John Mac
Response to Testing the water.... by Jody Melanson

well put Stephen -- I completely agree that this is "exceptional" but you see it as an image and I as a work of the artist. I find these comments relate more to the tools you understand then the result we should be critiquing.
I find it silly to worry about the "extent to which an image has been captured or created" when asked to comment on its merit.

Peter Barnes
Testing the water.... by Jody Melanson

To Phil Hawkins who said:

There is no difference between the duck's wing and the reflection, therefore I think it's a fake reflection.

Phil, I can see many differences between the wing and its reflection, all of them consistent with a real reflection in real water. I think something must be going wrong at your end.

Tomas Mykolaitis
Testing the water.... by Jody Melanson

Marvelous, perfect photo!

Michael VaughAn
Testing the water.... by Jody Melanson

Perhaps posting the raw file might help clear some of this discussion. The edges appear overly sharp on my screen as if cut out (even though they are not). Personally, I would like to see if there is more subtle textures in the water from the wing penetrating the surface.
Otherwise, the photo was interesting enough for me to notice it. Out of the thousands of photos I view each week that's saying something- very nice capture.
Good luck surviving a POW thread. I had one too and they can be brutal.

Glenn Rasmussen
Testing the water.... by Jody Melanson

This is a remarkable capture, and Jody was very lucky to catch it at the perfect moment even using continuous exposure mode. The image does come across as a bit overprocessed. A bit too sharp to be real is the feeling I get. There are those that like the style, but it doesn't always work for me as the viewer.

The composition is effective, but as has already been mentioned a complete reflection would really have placed this image into a special category. I feel the vertical format works well.

The lighting is deceptive. It gives the impression of an overcast day rather then one that is cloudy bright as you describe. That may have more to do with the angle of incidence of the sun and the location of the camera. No matter, the light definitely enhances to overall tone of the image.

For those suspecting a constructed shot, I feel you may be off base in your assumptions. Sharp, hard edges are nothing more then effective use of USM and a few other auxillary sharpening techniques.

Jody, my compliments on superior work.

Barry Waite
Response to Testing the water.... by Jody Melanson

Real or not, this is a very nice work

Scott MacRae Collingwood
Response to Testing the water.... by Jody Melanson

Wow, after a lot of gazing, I'm right there with that duck. What an image!

Jon Hallberg
Response to Testing the water.... by Jody Melanson

After looking at it again I realized what was bothering me. There is no hint of the other wing. It would have to be in the down thrusting position closely mirroring the wing on this side. The wings have to be balanced to maintain the straight and level flight as shown. With the slight turning of the body away from us (and the slice in the water moving left and up) I would expect the right wing to be visible behind and to the right of the foreground wing. There is also no reflection of the missing wing.

Also the the underside of the bird's body shows no hint of reflected light as one would expect considering how bright and even the light is on top of the birds body. Also some slight fluttering of the tail feathers at the tip which also would be more spread out to increase their stablizing effect at slow speeds. The languid pose of the wing supposedly reaching down to the water, as if it were not even necessary for flight. The only hint of a shadow in the entire image is under the photographers name.

Jody Melanson
Testing the water Shot this bullet, I mean Bufflehead, today. Very diffused sunlight, thin cloud overhead. Great for exposure on this guy. Almost full frame, cropped vertical. I wish I would have gotten more of his reflection.

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