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Thread: Rock Ptarmigan

  1. #1
    BPN Member Bill Dix's Avatar
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    Default Rock Ptarmigan

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    We were driving up a narrow, rocky road on the Langanes Peninsula, in the remote northeast corner of Iceland, when we spotted a pair of Ptarmigan on the rocks. When we stopped the car, they slowly moved down the hill away from us. As quickly as the treacherous rocky terrain would allow (not wanting to break an ankle in this remote setting), I worked my way to a point beyond and below them. When this fellow hopped onto a rock, I was a little too low and cut off his feet, but I was happy to get my only series of frames of this species. Note that the male, shown here, was in partial molt from winter to summer plumage.

    D500, Sigma 150-600C @ 600mm, ISO 2000, 1/2000s @ f/7.1 manual. HH

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    Such a beautiful bird and the neutral setting really adds to the ptarmigan red eyebrow pop! I like the molt and variety of feather color. I might lighten the eye a bit. TFS

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    BPN Member Paul Burdett's Avatar
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    Yes, my first thought was to lighten the eye (before seeing Ann's comment (I must be learning!). A spectacular looking bird indeed...love the colours...especially that red eyebrow and the contrasting feather colours/details. Just wish for a tad more head turn towards us.

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    Publisher Arthur Morris's Avatar
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    Lovely bird and setting and sharp, but with the bird angling (and the head) away from us, the face is somewhat in the dark. getting parallel to the subject here (though difficult to do) would have yielded a much stronger image.

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    I like the red red above the eye. Nice perch and low angle.

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    BPN Member Brian Sump's Avatar
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    Bill, thanks for the sharing the story. It helps the frame IMO and I can just envision the hunt!

    So despite the noted shortfalls, it's actually quite a nice frame and I'd be glad to get a species like this on a trip to Iceland in a heartbeat. Exposure and bkg are great.

    Other than perhaps pulling back the contrast just a little on the head I'd wish for just a bit higher in frame. But yeah, great work getting this beaut!

  7. #7
    Macro and Flora Moderator Jonathan Ashton's Avatar
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    Looks good, the wattle looks great, I feel the eye and area between the eye and beak could benefit from a small lift.

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    Avian Moderator gail bisson's Avatar
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    I love these birds. Your specimen has a beautiful red eyebrow.
    I like the BG, the rock and IQ. Excellent DOF.
    Agree with you that it would have been nice to see the feet.
    Gail

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    BPN Member Jack Backs's Avatar
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    Nice perch and background. Bird looks sharp. There are some catch light reflections in the eye. I would dodge those to delineate the eye a little better.

  10. #10
    BPN Member Krishna Prasad kotti's Avatar
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    Interesting species. I have seen this for the first time. I agree with other comments.
    TFS
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  11. #11
    Super Moderator arash_hazeghi's Avatar
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    Artie nailed it on the head, image would have been perfect with the bird parallel or angled towards us. all else is excellent

    TFS
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  12. #12
    BPN Member Bill Dix's Avatar
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    Thank you all. Your comments are much appreciated.

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