Nature Photography Photo Critique
by Pat Hartley
Category: Nature Photography
Canon Digital Rebel XS
Lens: Zoom: Variable focal
Exposure time: 1/1600 ,
Description: lens 70-200, changed background to bw to give a feeling of night - first flight shot, see all >
lens 70-200, changed background to bw to give a feeling of night - first flight shot, only 15 ft away, have great diff getting focus on flight shots and detail poor at a distance. Need better lens. Cringing waiting for critique on this but need help.
Subject of photo
Composition & Perspective
Use of camera, exposure & speed
Color & Lighting
Depth of field
A well captured shot, it´s always difficult to focus on moving subjects particularly animals as you never know what their next move will be.
Composition is very hard with moving subjects so I´m glad to see you´ve got the entire bird in the frame. I would have loved to have seen the bird flying directly to the camera with the wings spread and the light shining through his wings. As it is you´ve gone for a simpler composition of putting the subject in the center of the frame flying right to left, you´ve put the bird flying into the blank space of the frame which is the correct way to approach this situation, had the bird been flying out of the frame things would have looked odd. I would have liked to have either seen the bird filling the frame or an interesting background, interesting could just mean some green bushes or a blue sky.
Looks good. Try, perhaps you already have, investigating the auto focus setting on your camera, Im not familiar with the Rebel XS but I´m sure there must be some settings to help you focus on moving images like this.
A nice fast shutter speed has really frozen the action. exposure looks good. I´m going to include post processing in this section. I think making the background black and white was a mistake, I can see what you were trying to achieve, I assume the colours of the background were distracting your eye away from the bird, so you converted them to black and white and it works.. to an extent, but it´s too obvious. I think a more appropriate approach would have been to just soften the colours a little is the same manner as you have but dont go all the way to black and white, you could also try burning in the colours to darken them as the eye is always drawn to the lighter areas of the frame before the darker areas.
Nice, I really like the light shining through the wings of the bird showing details in the feathers - a nice touch, perhaps if it was shot later in the day you could have achieved some warmer tones.
The background is not as blurred as I´d have liked I assume this is because it is pretty close to the animal, I imagine this wasn´t shot at 200mm as I think that would have blown the background out of focus.
Capturing images of animals flying is never easy and you´ve made a good attempt, you´ve managed to get the entire bird in the frame, in focus and in reasonable light so that´s the basics sorted, well done. With some compositional changes you´ll be well on your way to producing some truly professional results.
How to improve your photo
Investigate other wildlife photographers and take note of their compositions. It´s not a case of copying their work just see what works and compare it to your own images. I suggest http://www.andyrouse.co.uk as a starting point, he´s a very accomplished wildlife photographer with some stunning images.
Keep shooting, you´re making great progress and your determination will pay.
Go easy on the post processing.
Get feedback on your photos from Pro Tom Bourdon