What technical feedback would you like if any? Any/All

What artistic feedback would you like if any?Any/All

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

I went out looking for a Ferruginous Hawk rumored to be wintering nearby (didn’t find it) but I got a shot of a Red-tail instead. I’ve been encouraged to divulge all of the manipulating in my post, and this one has more than usual. I’ve recently acquired Topaz, Topaz AI Clear, and ReMask 5 after becoming aware of them on here. I self assigned myself to make the sky sunny blue on this which it was not. It was bright overcast white so I masked it using ReMask 5 after treating it in AI Clear in the auto setting. I used my D500, 1/1600th, f/8.0, ISO 250, 370mm, hand held, cropped to 2909 x 2164. It was initially cropped, and tweaked a little with Brightness and Shadows in LR. I slightly popped its eye glint in PS to bring it out a little.

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

PP looks like it washed the bird out…
You really need to work at getting more eye level and birds flying to you and not away.

Nice work on the processing, Dave. I do see just a slight fringe along parts of the bird where the selection wasn’t quite on the edge, but it’s very small. I’ve heard that there’s a very easy way to get rid of it, but I can never remember the easy way and end up having to carefully go along the hawk layer with the eraser tool. One of these days I need to figure out the easy way.

Detail in the hawk is very nice.

Good job catching it flying. Like the curled primaries, and the IQ looks pretty good. I also noticed a slight halo from the selection not quite being right on. And Dan is correct that catching it lower and before it had passed you would’ve been ideal. I’d like to see the original. Also, I’d go with a more rectangular crop. The square crop feels a bit odd.


I see what you mean on being washed out. I manipulated the contrast in PS for this new version. It improves it alright. I find that I am not in control of where I am relative to birds position. I don’t really mind the look of shots taken as I’ve seen them from the ground. Well, as long as they’re not straight up. It’s personal. It reminds me of what I witnessed.

I realize you are not in control of where you are when you take the shot, but you can learn to take better views that you post.
If you want to get better at bird photography, you need to think about viewing angles, head angles, flight angles, etc.
You post the photos you choose, I am just suggesting you try to find better shots to post.
That is what bird/ wildlife or any photography is all about.

Hi Dave, a fairly tough angle for shooting but I like that we can see the eye with the downward wing. Sharpness looks good to me. I am wondering if the sky color should be tweaked/toned down some to be more natural.
I enjoy seeing your posts…keep 'em coming…

Hi Dave,

I would encourage you to keep posting whatever shots strike your fancy. The only way one improves as a photographer is thought practice, practice, and again more practice. And while many folks will critique your work in the hopes to help you along your journey, I would hope those critiques be a tad more tactful.

Nice sharpness and a good look at the eye which partially mitigates the fact that the bird was going away from you at an angle. In the repost the contrast on the bird looks better, but the sky looks to have a bit of a cyan color cast.

With respect to the back and forth here, Dan I think your first comment was fine and constructive and Dave responded to it by working on the contrast. However in your second comment to say “I am suggesting you try to find better shots to post”. in my opinion is not constructive. To me, it comes across as saying “this is not a good shot” which can very well be discouraging to somebody who has come here with the hope to improve his photography. It’s also subjective as what one considers a good shot, another photographer may not. So a reminder to all parties, the poster should have a thick skin and accept constructive criticism and the ones critiquing should try to do so in a constructive way, realizing also that their view of photography is not going to be the same as everyone else’s.

In conclusion in my opinion it’s a reasonably good image, it’s sharp and you can see the eye, yes the angle could be better and the contrast/colors need a bit of work. It has it’s strong points and weak points. But if Dave considers it worth posting and getting feedback on it, then it’s certainly worth posting and getting feedback on and we don’t want to discourage people from posting any images. I certainly wouldn’t call this a “snapshot”.

The only thing that looks unnatural to me is the sky. Otherwise, not bad at all! In the field, often you are lucky to get a decent shot at all. To me, this is quite decent.

I post what I want, though, I look at my stuff more closely for NPN than I would otherwise.