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Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major)

By Emilpix
An adult male photographed in heavy shade in woodland. Natural light as opportunity presented itself. Square crop to emphasise bird and texture of branch it settled on. What was I trying to achieve - a reasonable photograph of the species.

Tags: Wildlife and nature Woodpecker great spotted

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paulbroad 13 131 1293 United Kingdom
18 Dec 2013 12:30PM
And you have a perfect result. Very nicely done. He looks a bit wary with a beady eye. That's not a criticism. I assume tripod as you would struggle to get it this sharp without. A good tight crop gives that necessary impact. Bet someone wants more space!

The lighting is very fortunate giving good separation. First class technical NH photography.

pablophotographer 9 1.9k 405
18 Dec 2013 12:50PM

I am using a laptop and that has as a result of the image to vary on colour intensity and brightness depending on the position of the screen, but hey I care to work in a setting that there is no lighting disruptions. Despite my conditions and in the presumption to accept your honesty I think that the heavy shade in the woodland might have been in a different pace all around you maybe but not on that branch. I see the branch and the bird well lit from direct sunlight which also has created shadows both of the tree trunk fold and the bird's foot. In almost all circumstances (of screen tilt) I find the picture too bright especially on the left side of the tree trunk and the bird's white chest.

Object is well separated form background and I like the hint of green on the left contrasting the red belly of the Dendrocopos on a diagonal.

18 Dec 2013 1:14PM
Thank you Paul. You too Pablo. The area this was taken is quite difficult to work and I often sit hunched over camera behind a screen of branches, and indeed my tripod, waiting for birds to arrive when the light is quite right. On this occasion it was directly on the bird at late afternoon so rather brighter than I when I would normally choose. But, hey ho, any time in a quiet wood, or by the river, is a good time!
banehawi Plus
16 2.4k 4236 Canada
18 Dec 2013 1:41PM
You got what you wanted to achieve. Its a good shot.

You can get a little more detail in the white if you wanted by toning down highlights, but just a little.

The square crop, for me, can be improved on by removing the space on the left of the tree, as in the mod.


TonyDy Plus
12 52 3 United Kingdom
18 Dec 2013 3:14PM
Very good shot, Mick.
JuBarney Plus
9 33 5 United Kingdom
18 Dec 2013 5:10PM
A super shot
dark_lord Plus
17 2.8k 769 England
18 Dec 2013 7:28PM
A great image. I must admit to thinking flash when I first looked, but I'm glad to see it's natural light which has picked out the bird beautifully.

richmowil Plus
12 446 2 England
18 Dec 2013 7:41PM
Excellent image!! Good detail and colour!!
Jestertheclown 12 8.4k 253 England
18 Dec 2013 10:12PM

Quote:Bet someone wants more space!

Sorry to disappoint Paul!

I'd go for less. Quite a bit less.
I realise that the branch was always intended to be a part of the image but I'd crop this to a portrait, losing most of the LHS. Including most of the branch.
Otherwise, I'd leave it alone.


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