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Fleeting Shot

By eddie00001
Walking around the RSPB Wetlands Centre in Newport a few months ago while trying out my new 500mm lens, I took this shot handheld and the colours are all straight of the camera.
Nikon D7100
Sigma 150-500mm

Tags: Wildlife Newport Birds Rspb Fields Wildlife and nature Sigma 150-500mm Nikon D7100



mrswoolybill Plus
16 3.8k 2591 United Kingdom
16 Mar 2015 2:27PM
Hi Edward, welcome back! I looked at your page and you joined in 2008, but this is only your second upload. I hope you have followed the site in that time.

I like this a lot, it's about atmosphere and a sense of place. The bird is simply the focal point that holds that atmosphere together visually.

My criticism would be that the bird is too central. That gives a static, prosaic look, and it acts as a barrier to the viewer's eye, preventing us from exploring further into the frame. Place the bird to one side and the result is more poetic, and more inviting.

The bird is turning towards the right, conventionally it 'should' be looking into the frame. But I rather fancy the tension of having it looking and straining out towards the side of the frame. I shall experiment with crops.

The light shining on and through the grass is gorgeous. It's a pity that the bird's back is in shadow, maybe a tiny bit more contrast there? (Some very discreet dodging and burning would give that, I think). And a little more brightness, clarity, overall. But not a lot, I wouldn't want to spoil the essential quietness of the image.

So now I am off to see what I can do by way of a modification... I guess you know now where to find them...
eddie00001 15 1 Wales
16 Mar 2015 2:49PM
Hi Moira,

Thank you for your comments and feedback, it's very helpful to me. I like the version of the photo you have produced, and think the your crop definitely works better. I think that's something I need to keep reminding myself in future.


banehawi Plus
18 2.9k 4345 Canada
16 Mar 2015 3:05PM
Its a lovely shot, and one of the main areas of improvement hwere of course is the crop. And there are a few option.

The other thing Ive noticed, looking at the RAW adjustments youve made which are embedded in the exif data, is that apart from a lower than expected colour temp (originally 4950 and +3, should be quite a bit warmer for the situation and time of day), is that you have lifted shadows and blacks significantly, while increasing exposure and reducing whites.

This affects the appearance of the shot, and removes much of the silhouette effect that was originally there.

I have made adjustment that effectively try to respore it as much as possible; adjust colour temperature; and sharpen.

I uploaded 3 mods, a portrait crop, a landscape crop, and the original uncropped.

A thirds grid is helpful when deciding on crops btw.

A fine image.


dark_lord Plus
19 3.0k 836 England
16 Mar 2015 7:58PM
The muted pastel colours are attractive.
However, given the time of day the shot was taken, according to your exif, I would expect it to be warmer as per Willie's mods.
But there's no right or wrong way, this is more about mood!

You do have various cropping options, thugh for a simpler and bolder image you can remove the tree trunk from the left hand side, it is a distraction as it is. if there was a corresponding one on the right there's be some nice symmetry.

It's a pity we can only see the back of the bird (sometimes that does make for an interesting shot but when we can see some good detail) as seeing it's head in profile would be a bigger draw for the viewer. I know sometimes they don't oblige!

Nevertheless, it's good to see something other than a record shot of a natural history subject that tells us a lot about a bird reserve in winter.

paulbroad 15 131 1294 United Kingdom
16 Mar 2015 7:59PM
The bird and grass needs to be very much larger in the frame. Here it uses about 1/6 of the frame. For strength and imoacr you need to fill the frame. I would also darken to a near silhouette of the bird. The detail is almost lost anyway, so a silhouette will have far more impact.

I have a 50/500 spSigma and always have at least -1/3 compensation set. The kens seems to cause a degree of over exposure although with the light here, I would expect under.

Spot entering set on auto and no exposure compensation. Did you use exposure lock and what did you actually Meyer from. Spot is usually not a good idea on auto settings without considerable care.


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