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Old Jul 6, 2011, 3:55 PM   #1
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Default Two birds in formation

Hi all, finally broke down and got a DSLR after selling my film SLR 8 years ago. This is awesome, like having your own super fantasic darkroom.

This is my first photo posted online (I've only charged my battery three times) but shot a series as these birds approached. They were flying together and then they both banked the same way. I really like it, not sure if the dock is a distraction or enhancement in the background. If you look at the heron, you can see his feathers bending from the air compression as it gets close to the water.

C&C welcome.


I did some pretty good stuff with film and hope to pick up where I left off.
Thanks for looking, cheers.
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Old Jul 6, 2011, 4:56 PM   #2
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Since it's C&C, I'll give you my opinion.

Timing/capture - great - not easy with birds in flight - I've just started trying myself. Digital certainly gives you the freedom to practice lots so great start.

Background - I would always straighten the horizon or horizontal elements unless you have a specific reason to leave it tilted. In this case, I think the dock is a distraction - your subject is the bird and the dock doesn't add anything, either in context or artistic merit. (Leaving it out makes it look like you may have gone even farther afield to get this shot.)

I'd also crop out the second bird to be honest. In the posted shot it has even less detail and while the experience of watching them fly together was great, I don't get the same feel from this particular shot. If they were both the same species and the second mirrored the first, it might work.

Lastly, you take shots where and when you can especially with wildlife so lighting doesn't always cooperate.. Kind of harsh here, but I suspect if you played with the image, the back lighting on the wings could be enhanced and add a fair bit to the shot.

I did a quick crop and a bit with lighting - not sure how it will look on other monitors.

Kevin
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Old Jul 6, 2011, 5:10 PM   #3
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Thank you Kevin, I was so focused on the idea of the two birds flying together that I never though to crop the little one out. What you did was make it look like someone better than me took the click. All I can say is WOW. lesson learned, think outside of what you see. Thanks. I'll go back and start from scratch with the raw and redo the pp.
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Old Jul 7, 2011, 1:19 AM   #4
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+1 on on everything Kevin said, except
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinLF View Post
If they were both the same species and the second mirrored the first, it might work.
I agree but I also think your image works because it captures a moment of life in the wild, it's not just a wildlife shot. Kevin's reworking of your's is the better wildlife image. Some species of small birds harass bigger birds. It's a constant flux of darting and weaving. Can't imagine how skilled and lucky you were to get both birds in the same frame and in formation for a moment.

Love the curved primary flight feather just above the water.
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Old Jul 7, 2011, 12:19 PM   #5
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It was luck and a lot of pp. The lower wing looked like it snagged a rope while in flight, nasty bright brown line going down the wing and a lot of burned light reflection spots on the water.

Thanks for the encouragement.
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Old Jul 30, 2011, 10:00 AM   #6
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I actually prefer the first image. I like the depth provided by the pier and the second bird helps to tell the story. Great capture! The second image is nice, but to me its just a bird and water and has eliminated the heart of the picture. I guess it just depends on what you are going for.
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Old Jul 30, 2011, 10:23 AM   #7
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I agree with Soupcreek. A close-up on the bird has it's merits, but the pier provides a context for the scene that works for me.
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