I’ve never gotten this close to a muskrat before, they always disappear. This one ignored me. Must have liked what he was eating.
D800, 300 mm f4 at f8, 1/1000 sec., ISO 320, handheld.

Any commentary fair game.

You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.

Kathy, the undulations in the water really help enhance what otherwise may have been a basic muskrat portrait. The added texture and lighter blues coming through in those ripples are quite nice.

I think the composition is sort of stuck between two viable options: you could fully center the subject (sometimes effective if you have a nice ripple pattern emanating from it on all sides)… or you could place the muskrat in the left third, possibly even the upper left third (effective since the subject is facing toward the lower right). If you’re trying to avoid a centered composition, I feel there’s a bit too much extra space behind the animal, which draws the eye left rather than right.

I understand your crop could be dictated by distractions we don’t currently see outside the frame, of course.


Thank you. Had not considered that. Am posting another!

I think the repost is definitely an improvement. Glad you had enough canvas to work with. Nice job, Kathy.


I like the repost, Kathy. Excellent detail and I do like the looks of the water.

Find the repost better, water ripples are really adding to the frame! Warm tones of Muskrat and blue water is a nice contrast too.

My preferred crop would be if the rat was 80% of the image so I could see that beautiful face, hands, and maybe learn what it was eating.


The repost is the one that I prefer. Well done…Jim

Hi Kathy, I’ve never seen a muskrat’s claws before - really interesting capture in a nice setting. I prefer the repost.

Really nice catch!
I also love the water ripples and Max’s idea about the left upper third works well to feature both the critter and the unusual water.
Very well-done!