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Thread: Great Egret along the Catawba River, North Carolina

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    Default Great Egret along the Catawba River, North Carolina

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    My first critique post. I started bird photography about a year ago. This shot nearly filled the frame, I only cropped slightly to compose the bird more to the right.

    Larry


    Sony A6400, Sony 200-600mm zoom lens
    600mm (900 mm equivalent)
    f/6.3
    1/3200 sec.
    ISO 800
    Shot at 10:30am

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    Super Moderator Daniel Cadieux's Avatar
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    Hi Larry, welcome to BPN!!! You are starting a fun journey with this hobby. You got a beautiful subject, and its body and head angles are perfect relative to the sensor. Nice to get it with a raised foot too, this adds some interest. You had the right idea in wanting to place it more to the right. Having said this, it is still rather tight in the frame with egret feeling squished top and bottom. Since you have a zoom, do take advantage of it versatility by zooming in and out as needed - here you could have zoomed out quite a bit. The setting is also quite busy, with the background competing for our attention. Almost always best to wait for the subject to walk into a cleaner area free of major distractions.

    Lastly as you can see the late morning time during a sunny day had you in a very contrasty situation with the harsh light. Most of us have already quit photography for the day at this hour when bright and sunny outside. Best to search for first light (and a couple of hours after), or hope for clouds pat a certain time. The good news is that with that sun we can clearly see that you had the sun at your back (and a tiny bit to your right) - well done there! Keep it up, and lets see some more form you!

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    Avian Moderator Brian Sump's Avatar
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    Welcome Larry, nice to have you!

    Daniel provided some great feedback. Love the idea for this shot and when you consider the points mentioned previously, there is a lot to like here.

    I do agree that it is a little tight in the frame and the head is a little soft as it seems like you were maybe battling some atmospheric shimmers/distortion.

    Look forward to more posts, nowhere but up from here!

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    Hey, thnx guys for the critiques great feedback!

    Daniel -- Yes, I definitely should have zoomed out more. I waited for about 20 minutes for him to walk closer to me and I was trying to fill the frame, but this was too much. Background is pretty busy, now that you mention it. I was completely focused on the bird and didn't notice. Yep, at 10:30 the light is starting to get harsh and you are exactly right; the sun was behind my right shoulder ;-)

    Brian -- Yes, the head is a little soft, but I'm wondering if maybe that is because I was focusing on the body-center, when I should have used spot focus on the head/eye, then recomposed?

    Question: I resized this image to the max allowed (1920). I'm thinking I should resize a little smaller in the future?

    Thnx again,

    Larry

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    Super Moderator Daniel Cadieux's Avatar
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    1920 is good (and under 600kb), you can keep it that size.

    If you focused on the body then that is absolutely why the head is softer - this is due to dof (the side of the egret's body is closer than the its face). Almost always try to have the focus point on the eye or face of the subject. At that time of day, yes, heat shimmer can also be an annoying factor.

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    Welcome to BPN Larry! You got some good advice already and I agree with it. just wanted to welcome you and looking forward to seeing more from you.

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