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Thread: Red-throated Loon (winter plumage)

  1. #1
    BPN Member Dorian Anderson's Avatar
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    Default Red-throated Loon (winter plumage)

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    I took my inflatable kayak out for its first spin in a while this weekend, and I found this very cooperative Red-throated Loon.
    This is a species that nests in the Arctic and winters along the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts. They are very common in CA in
    winter but usually only seen from a distance when birding the beachfront. This was my first close encounter with this species.
    I was really, really stoked to add this bird to my photo collection.

    I cannot get my lens right on the water's surface in the kayak, so I opened up to f/4 to get a nice thin focal plane. That's
    what's up with the hella fast shutter and super low ISO.

    Cropping swimming loons is always tough since they are so long and low!

    Canon 600mm f/4 IS II on EOS 5D Mark IV
    1/6400 at f/4, ISO 250
    Processed in LR CC with zero trickery

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    Lifetime Member Colin Driscoll's Avatar
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    Nicely done Dorian. Love all that blue contrasting with the bird.

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    BPN Member Isaac Grant's Avatar
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    This is beautiful Dorian. Great details and pose. I would loosen the crop just a bit all around, but especially on the left side. Also would take a little off of the bottom and add it to the top. Bottom has a little too much dead space for me.

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    BPN Member gail bisson's Avatar
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    This is gorgeous Dorian! Nice and sharp with a pretty little bow wave.
    Love the low POV and the perfect HA.
    I am with Isaac on the crop suggestion- ie. take some off the bottom and add a bit on the LHS.
    Whites look great.
    Love all the blues in the image,
    Gail

  5. #5
    BPN Member Dorian Anderson's Avatar
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    Isaac and Gail - Agree on the crop, but I don't have the space. I'm usually better about controlling for spacing issues, but
    it's really hard when both the bird and photographer are subject to wave motion! Challenge is complicated by loon's low
    profile. Original frame....

    Name:  red-throated loon low 120818-2.jpg
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Size:  441.5 KB

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    Looks very nice. Shooting from a boat can be a challenge with all the movement. Can't imagine a kayak. Details look great. Nice pose and i like the composition here.

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    Applause for you dear kayak shootin adventurer! Wonderful image, and smart thinking opening up at F4. The blues just melt away against the superbly sharp loon. You have insurance Dorian correct? Y'know killer whales, sharks, or porcupines!

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    BPN Member Alex Becker's Avatar
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    Great pose and details. The blues look great. Sounds like a tricky situation between the waves moving and the fixed focal length, especially the 600mm in regards to the cropping. A bit tight for me but not a deal breaker by any means there. TFS

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    Avian Moderator Tim Foltz's Avatar
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    Dorian, I really like this but your loon is swimming downhill.

    -Tim

  10. #10
    Super Moderator arash_hazeghi's Avatar
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    classic low angle shot Dorian with everything you can ask for
    New! Nikon Capture One Pro Guide
    http://www.arihazeghiphotography.com/Guides/


    ------------------------------------------------
    Visit my blog
    http://www.arihazeghiphotography.com/blog

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    Hey Dorian, lovely image of a Red-throated Loon. I'm in the minority but I like your image as originally posted, maybe a tad added to the right side. Now to your inflatable kayak... those Great White Sharks love inflatable kayaks, especially if they are Yum Yum Yellow. Be careful. Thank you for sharing.
    Joe Przybyla

    "Sometimes I do get to places just as God is ready to have somebody click the shutter"... Ansel Adams

    www.amazinglight.smugmug.com

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    Publisher Arthur Morris's Avatar
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    I would not change a single pixel in the original post ... The SH and HA are to die for. If you twisted my arm, I'd like to see a bit more in front of the bird. Low angle and EXP both a WOW!

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