Animal Photography Photo Critique
Hey, I am big but harmful.
by Debbie O
Category: Animal Photography
Canon Digital Rebel XSi
Lens: Telephoto: 50-200mm
Description: A muskot while skidooing in the tundra. He/she was soaking up the sun I got very cl see all >
A muskot while skidooing in the tundra. He/she was soaking up the sun I got very close and took a took a few pics. Such a beautiful animal, did not want to scare him because they need their energy to go through such cold an long winters.
Subject of photo
Composition & Perspective
Use of camera, exposure & speed
Color & Lighting
Depth of field
I've always been fascinated by this prehistoric relics and I think they're the closest thing to a Wolly Mammoth that we have left!
While the perspective is excellent (as we are right down at the animal's eye level), the composition leaves a bit to be desired as the subject's head is dead centre and the rear end of the Musk Ox is clipped off, just slightly.
This looks to be very well done. Photographing a dark animal against snow on a bright sunny day is very challenging. While the highlights on the snow look a bit blown out that is acceptable because the important part of the exposure is the animal and that exposure looks great. Today's digital cameras just don't have enough dynamic range to capture all the tones between those bright whites on the sunny snow and the dark fur and the animal.
I'd say you did a great job with the lighting and the color. Could you have gotten around the animal so you had the sun working with you rather than against you? One trick is to "try" to point your shadow towards the animal you're photographing to help you remember where to position yourself relative to the sun.
Depth-of-field looks fine. With an animal like this it is important that the eyes are sharp while the background is less important and you did a good job here.
It is a very nice photo with a lot of potential. Just a few small problems prevent it from being a great picture.
How to improve your photo
If you are going to "amputate" part of an animal's body (or person for that matter) you want to make it look like it was intentional instead of an accident.
Photographs rarely work best when the main area of attention on a subject is directly in the center of the frame. In a photo like this, I'd suggest the head and eyes be placed on one of those magic rule of thirds points to make a stronger image. If you are unfamiliar with the rule of thirds, just Google it and you'll find a ton of information.
Photographs of animals that have their eyes on direct opposite sides of their heads are often stronger with their head turned in profile instead of directly towards the camera. Maybe if you waited a few moments, the animal would have turned its head (still slightly towards the camera) for a stronger shot. It's through the eyes of critters, people, pets, etc. that viewers of images connect with the images. For that reason, it is often helpful for the viewer to have an unobstructed view of at least one eye.
Get feedback on your photos from Pro Paul Burwell