Cooper's Hawk + Repost for crop

The second-largest of the Accipiters and, according to iNaturalist, endangered in Oklahoma. This one has been hanging around my yard for a couple weeks before giving me an opportunity for some decent shots.

Specific Feedback Requested

Any. Is the framing of the two large limbs too overpowering?

Technical Details

Canon 60D, Canon 70-300mm IS USM Zoom, f/13, 1/250 sec., ISO 400. Processed in ACR and PSE 2022 for exposure and cropping. Topaz DeNoise.


Hi Terry,

I think this is a mighty fine image with great detail on the hawk, the colors are amazing and I think the pose is really good, too.
I can see it’s feet and part of its breast which is where the colors shine along with the eye color.
Not seeing the talons isn’t a big deal for me but I’m an amateur when it comes to avian photography.

To answer your question, I actually like it as presented, but, you might benefit from a crop just under the top limb and maybe crop in from the right some to get rid of the limb stub and to put the hawk off center, it might make it a stronger image overall but those are just my personal thoughts on framing.
One little nit for me is the out of focus twig in the FG LLC where it covers the limb could stand to not be there, maybe just clone it out or use whatever method you prefer?

I’m sure that other more experienced avian photographers can give you better advice the I can.

It’s a might fine image though, especially since it’s on the endangered list.

An impressive shot Terry. Beautiful colours on the bird and and pin sharp focus on the eye and head.
The two branches make for a strong framing top and bottom of the shot and maybe the top one could be cropped out as I’m not sure if it actually adds anything . Also on my screen there seems to be a little bit of a colour hue, maybe it’s just a low sun, or maybe it’s my screen.
Lovely photo.

1 Like

Spectacular capture, Terry. The intense look on this hawk is impressive. As is the detail you’ve gotten in his feathers. The background/environment work very well, In the “if it were mine” category, I would probably crop a bit from the top and sides. As @Ryan pointed out, even though the large limbs create a nice frame, I would agree the top one doesn’t at that much, at least for me. Wonderful portrait image.

1 Like

Impressive image of the hawk. I like the intense over the shoulder look. I’d be inclined to crop off the top large branch and from the right to give more emphasis to the hawk.

1 Like

@Ryan @Merv @linda_mellor @Allen_Brooks Thank you all for your comments and observations. I went back and forth on that top limb before deciding to leave it in, but I agree it’s a bit much. Always good to get other eyes and opinions. @Merv I didn’t see that oof twig until after I posted the photo, and it bothers me, too! :grinning: I have reposted, with changes.


Nice work on removing the limb on top, I hadn’t thought about removing it as you did (rather than a crop), I like the headroom without the limb, well done. I like the original too but the new version is just stronger to me.
The crop on the right put the bottom of its wings in the center with the head right of center, it looks stronger that way IMHO.

It’s an image to be proud of :slight_smile:

Again, well done.

1 Like

Beautiful and very natural photo of this bird. Everything came out great in the photo. They are beautiful birds. I worked with them in a rescue center in the past.

Thanks @Dean_Salman. That must have been fun and very rewarding work.