The one that got away

The light was starting to get a little too harsh for my liking but I found my favorite wading bird on a subalpine ephemeral pool while hiking in the Sierra Nevada last May. I was lucky to have the camera ready when it decided to take off. As always, all feedbacks are most welcome.

Nikon D500, 300mm, f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO 125. Moderately cropped, 9.6MP remaining.


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

This is excellent, Adhika and the angle of the light was such that any harshness didn’t really show up. I like the band of water along the bottom with the reed reflections and you nailed the Avocet. That bill is particularly appealing to me with the curvature showing so well. If I were going to do anything at all to this it might be to clone over the greener patch of reeds/grasses in the upper right corner, but I had to look hard for anything at all that might be distracting to find it.

1 Like

Thanks, @Dennis_Plank. Ah, I see that upper right corner now and I cannot unsee it. Consider it fixed! :smiley:

This works really well for me. You caught the Avocet with perfect wing position and head position. A very pleasing image. I think your horizon could be moved a tad bit counterclockwise even though the bank was probably curved and this is an optical illusion. You got the depth of field just right with the soft out of focus area above the back of the Avocet allowing the image to pop.

Hi Adhika,
Congratulations on your first place win in Nature’s Best Photography for birds!
That is awesome!!!

Allen, thank you so much. I still feel that it’s a little unreal; it’s a very humbling experience. I hope we will hear more about the exhibition soon. I know that the images are printed and ready but I think they are still going through some final fine tuning with the museum.

1 Like

Adhika, Congratulations on the Best Photography award for birds. This one acrobatic takeoff and you captured it perfectly. What a great shot. The grass and its reflection in the water lend just enough detail to give the shot a sense of place. Wonderful!