D500 500mm @ f 5.6 1/500sec ISO 100 cropped - I couldn’t get any closer (anyone have a 600 f4 for sale :grin:)

Thanks for taking a look and all comments and critiques appreciated.

I try to leave my shots as original as possible, but should I “heal” the dark out of focus streak in the BG?
Thanks for your opinions.

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

Very nice image, Jay, and yes, I would certainly remove it if this were my image. It doesn’t add any sense of place or anything else and is certainly a distraction. I’d probably also take a little off the top, but that’s just me. For some reason the vertical 4x6 format nearly always feels too tall for my taste.

Thanks Dan. I appreciate the feedback.

I can see the vertical crop, given the perch, but its a nice look at the Bobolink and the large version shows good detail and I think I’d like to see more of the bird and less perch. May a horizontal crop. And I can see getting rid of the black streak.

I could go either way on the dark streak here Jay, I didn’t really notice if when I first looked at the image before I read your description. Nice exposure on a difficult bird, I would take some off the top here as it feels too centered to me.

I agree with Allen about a horizontal crop or tighten it up by removing some from the bottom and top. Leave the dark streak as is for now…Jim.

Thanks for all of the thoughts on this shot. I don’t clone or heal much, so not sure if it looks odd or not, but thought I’d show you all the different versions - I do see a few patches that need a little more work.

Thanks again.

I like the last image posted because there’s a better look at the bird. I think the more uniformly colored background is better. Nice job.

I like the second vertical, you lost some detail in the horizontal crop.
Nice looking bird…

I like the second vertical as well. Nice job on the cloning. The horizontal also looks good, but it is a pretty big crop and some loss of detail is starting to show.

I agree with the majority here. The revised vertical works well. The horizontal is too much of a crop IMO. Great job on the exposure with a beautiful soft background. You did fine on the cloning as far as I can tell. I’ve only seen these birds once and could never get close enough for a good shot. This one is nice!