Close Encounter

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

This bird broke cover unexpectedly, and flew so close that I was unable to get its whole body in the frame. I wonder if the composition works?

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

Hand-held from kayak. Very early morning, with extreme contrast. D500 / Sigma 100-300mm. 1/1000. f/9.5. ISO 1250.


It works very well for me. The great light along with the sharp focus on the head, neck and torso is memorable. Better yet, the relatively shallow DOF renders like wing motion, adding to the sense of sharpness. I wouldn’t change a thing, rather I’d put it prominently on a wall. I’m not usually a fan of metal prints, but this one would be spectacular in that format.

You certainly nailed the focus and exposure! It’s too bad the wing is clipped, but for me it is a keeper. I might consider adding a bit of canvas to the right to give the bird a bit more space.

Hi Michael. I really like the intensity and energy in the image. It’s a matter of taste, but to me the blur of the edge-on view of the near wing is jarring. I think I’d crop from the left to remove the lower part of that wing and maybe add a touch on the right. A great job catching this at all whenit’s that close.

Thanks for the suggestions: I have cropped the near wing, and added a bit to the right. I thnk it makes a big difference, and appreciate the input.

1 Like

I like the revised crop a lot, Michael. A very high energy image.

Nice shot Michael, I like the repost better but if it were mine I would crop the whole right wing out and not leave just a bit of it. To me the lights in the bird are a little too bright, if you are using aperture priority against a dark background like this you need to dial in some negative exposure compensation.

The suggestions you and Hank made were just what I needed! I knew something was not quite right with this image, but, if you look at something for too long, you often miss the obvious. I think this sort of helpful critique makes NPN very valuable.

I would lose the long neck feathers, if I cropped the whole of the right wing, which would spoil the stream-lined effect. Of course, it is a subjective issue. This is the first time I have had my images critiqued, and I am finding the process helpful and stimulating.
I was usuing manual exposure, not aperture priority, and letting auto ISO handle any discrepancies. I like the bright whites, but I can understand you thinking differently. Thanks for your comments.

With Nikon and auto iso you can also dial in exposure compensation, in that respect it’s very similar to using aperture priority.

Yes–tone down the brights and your repost comp is improved from the original. They are neat birds to photograph…………………Jim