Nature Photography Photo Critique
Egret Central Park, NYC
by Leonard Aschenbrand
Category: Nature Photography
Lens: Super-Telephoto: > 2
Exposure time: 1/1000 ,
Description: Took this picture to celebrate the beauty in nature.........
Subject of photo
Composition & Perspective
Use of camera, exposure & speed
Color & Lighting
Depth of field
Photo #1: Hey Leonard, this is a nice capture. There are a lot of elements to this picture that keep me looking and seeing more each time; light, patterns and, of course, the bird's shape.
I like that you do not have the bird centered. However, the light patterns on the left keep drawing my eye away from the bird. I think I would like to see the bird on the left third of the frame and somehow incorporate the light into that frame to lead me into the subject.
The bird looks to be in focus, but just barely. I do not see the texture of his feathers which leads me to think it is just slightly soft.
Exposure: I like the high-contrast look you are going for here. It especially makes the bird's surroundings very interesting. There are, however a couple of problems for you to think about for your next shoot. The bird is blown out so all the detail of his feathers is lost. Is this the result of post processing or from the initial exposure? Also, your darks are too dark and you have lost a lot of the texture there as well.
The colors in the light and plants around the bird is really nice. I like the neon effect here. The bird, especially the reflection, is very blue and does not appear natural. Was the water under him really that blue? While the early morning light is cool-toned, this seems a bit too blue.
Your DOF works here. The super-tele compresses the scene nicely.
Leonard, you have the makings of a very nice photo here. The scene is beautiful and, again, I like the high-contrast look you are going for here.
How to improve your photo
Composition: Could you have moved a bit to the right placing the bird in the left third of the frame? You have leading lines in the light patterns. Try to use them to lead the viewer's eye to your subject. Diagonals are very useful if placed in such a way as to lead the viewer to what you want him to see.
Exposure: So, as I said, the high-contrast look is good. If this was done in-camera this is a tricky exposure to make. You have the very bright highs in the bird and the very deep shadows in the overall scene. Adjust your meter to spot-meter mode and take your reading off the body of the bird. This will give you good exposure on our highlights and give you the detail in his feathers lacking here. If this was done in post-production, go for the highlights first, then open up the shadows by adjusting the mid-tones and then the blacks.
Color: this is a quick adjustment in post. Go into your color adjustment and desaturate the blue level a bit and maybe add a touch of yellow.
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