Nature Photography Photo Critique
Black capped night heron juvenile
by Leonard Aschenbrand
Category: Nature Photography
Lens: Super-Telephoto: > 2
Exposure time: 1/1000 ,
Description: Once again to celebrate the beaty of nature
Subject of photo
Composition & Perspective
Use of camera, exposure & speed
Color & Lighting
Depth of field
Leonard, this is a really interesting-looking bird and he chose a great place for you to make his picture! I love the branch he is on and the leafy background.
The branch is a great leading line into your subject. I think a tighter crop of this frame would greatly improve the composition.
Neither the bird's eye nor his feathers have that crisp look if spot-on focus. The is critical in nature photography. It's close, just not quite there.
Your exposure is good. There is detail in the branch and the highlights on the bird are well-exposed.
I think the color is a bit cool. Perhaps the result of early morning light, but more likely the result of auto white balance.
Leonard, are you using a fixed f8 lens? A high ISO? This picture could be greatly improved if shot a f4 or even f2.8 to knock out the detail in the background and draw the eye right to your subject.
Leonard, you have a good eye and an obvious love of the wonders of nature around you. Keep up the good work. With a few adjustments you can take these pictures to the next level. Are you familiar with the work of Moose Peterson? He is a wonderful wildlife photographer and I think you could benefit from the tips he offers on his blog: http://www.moosepeterson.com/blog/ Keep shooting!
How to improve your photo
DOF: Lowering your ISO and opening up your aperture will allow you to achieve the shallow DOF (bokeh) so necessary in nature photography. If your lens is fixed f8, again, by lowering the ISO and increasing the shutter speed you should be able to do the same thing.
COLOR: When shooting these early morning scenes try changing your white balance from AWB (auto white balance) to cloudy, or even shade. This will warm up the scene a bit.
Your description states you are not using a tripod. I am wondering if the lack of crispness is focus or camera shake? Even a very slight camera shake would affect the sharpness of our images. Using a tripod or at least a monopod will stabilize the camera.
CROP: This picture could be so much stronger if you cropped it a bit from the top, bottom and left side. Your first choice shout always be to crop in the camera when making the image, but don't hesitate to crop it in post-production to make the image stronger.
Get feedback on your photos from Pro Bob Coleman