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Thread: Kissing Male Prairie Chickens with Luck.

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    Default Kissing Male Prairie Chickens with Luck.

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    Shot this in the Ne Sandhills yesterday. I think it is my best of Grouse fighting. So hard to get two birds with good head angles no closed eyelids or nictating membranes or clipping by the photographer. These grouse are so athletic hard to believe the positions they get in when fighting. I have flown falcons at grouse for twenty five years and have seen all kinds of interactions. I think that is why I like photographing them never a dull moment. They are a very gregarious bird by nature. Sometimes luck is better than skill. Only negative for me is the dried up pond in the background. would rather had prairie grass. Funny thing was the grass was so high couldn't really focus on birds in the grass on the lek I was shooting mostly set ups mostly branches and small shrubs. I only tried a dozen shots at birds fighting and came up with one good one. Also had a male Sharptail dancing along with the chickens. Sometimes it happens and you end up with a hybrid species. Processed with Dpp 4,Photoshop,Topaz noise. Comments and critiques appreciated.
    Canon 1DX 111
    500 f/4 L IS
    700 mm
    Av 7.1
    1/3200
    ISO 1600

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    Avian Moderator Brian Sump's Avatar
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    Kevin, for me this is near competition worthy. The poses of the subject is just astounding between the wing spread, beaks sort of interlocked, eye contact with both and the even light across them.

    The bkg really doesn't bother me as the bokeh effect is strong. The only thing I could offer is to see what a 5x4 vertical looks like.

    For comps I think you can burn and dodge, so a bit selectively at the horizon transition might help a touch. Could also blot out the spot in UL as a "dust spec" and be okay I think.

    Overall man, one of the best action shots of any species I've seen. Congratulations all around my friend!

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    Macro and Flora Moderator Jonathan Ashton's Avatar
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    Looks super, the only suggestion from me is the dust spot, as I see it the whites are good but just maybe a little luminosity or blending could reveal a tad more detail. One of the best shots this year I'd say

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    Default Recrop

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    Took out the dust spot and did some work on the horizon or edge of pond. Also I thought it needed bumped up some for exposure.

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    Thanks so much Brian ,I do like the vertical crop I had thought about doing it vertical . I just thought it might be too tight .and thanks for the suggestion on the horizon it helps greatly. Don't know how I missed the dust spots as I only had one other one.

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    Thanks so much Jonathan. I did recrop per Brians suggestion and I thought it was a bit too dark.

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    Super Moderator Daniel Cadieux's Avatar
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    Well now, you just had better hang up your gear as this will be so tough to top! You must be stoked! I like both versions equally (dust spot aside), with great colours, tones, and of course the action. Super nicely done Kevin!

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    Thanks so much Daniel for the kind words means a lot.

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    Macro and Flora Moderator Jonathan Ashton's Avatar
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    Repost - wow - ideal

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    Excellent Shot.. No changes. I like both crops.

    TFS

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    BPN Member Andreas Liedmann's Avatar
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    Hi Kevin ... killer field work !!!

    Top notch action shot and the RP with going vertical is the way to go IMHO .
    Colors and tone are very nice ... still see some potential for a slightly different interpretation , but purely on personal taste .

    Just the NR is a tiny bit too strong , IMHO . The low frequencies are too smooth for my taste .

    Regardless of my points of critique .... would love to have this image in my collection

    Enjoyed watching and TFS Andreas

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    I'd take either version of this. They both look great. You cannot beat that interaction as well.

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    Publisher Arthur Morris's Avatar
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    I have no clue as to what Andreas is talking about. This image is incredible for obvious reasons. I prefer the boxy crop. DATPA plus you combined a top shot with an undying view. The biting and the head angles are sick.

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    congratulations Kevin, this is an outstanding image, I too prefer the habitat included, wow!

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