Nature Photography Photo Critique
by Joanna Jarvis
Category: Nature Photography
Canon Digital Rebel XS
Lens: Super-Telephoto: > 2
Subject of photo
Composition & Perspective
Use of camera, exposure & speed
Color & Lighting
Depth of field
This is a very cute bobcat caught with good eye contact and in a typical behavior . You might have had to wait to get the eye contact and ears forward which was good technique on your part.
The diagonal lines and the branches coming together in a V leads the viewer to the crux where the cat is hiding - appropriate for this image This could benefit from a crop. There is a lot of material in the lower left and the branch in the upper right is distracting. Crop both of those out as much as possible to get a tighter composition. Try to leave the subject in the bottom third - it is too centered right now. Cropping will also eliminate many of the branches showing against the sky which are a bit distracting.
Looks good on the bobcat, which is all you want to be in focus.
Unfortunately the light just misses his eyes, but it is really nice on the shoulder and neck. The whites are bright and not blown and the sky is a nice shade of blue. The speed was sufficient to capture the animal in sharp detail. A small pop of flash would have been nice.
Like the blue and the colors on the fur seem true. Pack a flash and experiment with fill flash
The foreground branches are very blurry, but after a crop that makes them minimal in the frame, it will not be distracting. the branch in the background has no detail being in the shadow, so the depth is appropriate
A nice wildlife portrait that will be improved by a crop. The face needs brightening in your post processing software.
How to improve your photo
Use cropping to place the subject using the "rule of thirds" and to eliminate distracting elements such as out of focus branches. This makes the image tighter, more about the subject, less cluttered
It is difficult with wildlife, but this cat might have tolerated the use of a small reflector or a fill flash strobe. Just a bit would have brightened the face and eyes. Without these you will have to rely on post processing to brighten the face to match the well lit neck. Spend time on the eyes to make them pop
Be patient and stay with the animal. He might have moved so the sun caught his face, or put a paw out into the foreground which would have made this a really terrific image.
Get feedback on your photos from Pro Gregory Sweeney