American Kestrel - Crop Critique Please

Joined
Jan 26, 2005
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15,253
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Marysville, WA
Well, along with the Kingfisher, the Kestrel has been my nemesis the past couple of years. Thanks to some friends, they have given me great clues on how to spot and recognize these beauties, but boy they are tough to find, skittish and small. Many that I see, and the first I had shot, were all perched on wires, so when I had the opportunity these past two weekends to find some in trees, what a bonus for me. Hope you like them as well.

I found this pair of Kestrel together in a tree. It was fun to watch, as they were looking around in all directions prior to taking off. Of course they took off just as I had moved the car a bit closer. Which crop do you like better, the looser or the tighter?

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As we were driving around that weekend we saw this one bush off to the side that usually had 1 or 2 Kestrels on it, but nowhere to stop on the shoulder of the road. Well, on Saturday I got sick and tired of seeing a shot I wanted, so I stopped in the middle of the road, put on the Emergency Flashers as I pulled as far to one side as I could, and grabbed a few off the beanbag, watching the rear view mirror all the time. Yes, it is a straight stretch of road, I was being a safe as possible, but I just couldn't pass it up any more :biggrin:

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Now if I can just get a nice, close, hovering shot ..... :wink:
 
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Joined
Jul 22, 2005
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2,322
Location
nashville
These guys are just too neat bill!! I prefer the tighter crop but when it comes to crop suggestion I am always concerned as to whether it fits the type print you are going for. If going for a print I assume the cropped version fits the criteria. ok rambling done..hope you got something there:wink: :biggrin:
 
Joined
Jul 6, 2005
Messages
385
Location
Redmond, WA.
Hi Bill,

Nice captures. I like the tighter crop as it eliminates some of the distracting branches. I think cloning out some more branches out would make it cleaner but then what do I know... :)
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
15,253
Location
Marysville, WA
These guys are just too neat bill!! I prefer the tighter crop but when it comes to crop suggestion I am always concerned as to whether it fits the type print you are going for. If going for a print I assume the cropped version fits the criteria. ok rambling done..hope you got something there:wink: :biggrin:
Thanks, appreciate the comment, and you bring up a great point regarding the print. I like the tighter as well, more bird, less branch, I ain't going for an image of the tree :biggrin:. Although in the 3rd shot, I wanted both.

Congrats to you Bill on capturing a bird that has eluded me completely. Nice shots. I like the second cropping, but the third shot is my favorite, nice composition.

Louie
Thanks, Louie. The third was the tough one. I got so sick and tired of driving by that tree with Kestrels on it, just had to stop in the middle of the road and go for it :wink:

Bill, you want to get jealous? Look at a couple photos on another site:

Marcus Armani is the photographer, and he's one of the best birds in flight photographers I know.
Thanks, Steve, that's ALL I need, somebody ELSE to be envious of :tongue: :tongue: :wink: If you read his description, you get an idea of what we go through as well, eh? This silly bird, when it did fly, turned completely around and flew directly away from me. But one of these days I'll get back there, find a spot close enough to walk, take a chair and some camouflage and sit by that tree all stinkin' day. And I'll be that will be day the Kestrel's don't show up .... :mad: :mad: :biggrin:

Just gotta let them get closer if you want good shots:>))
Thanks a lot, Gale. Can you send me one of your Florida Bird Trainers up here for a while???? :tongue:

Hi Bill,

Nice captures. I like the tighter crop as it eliminates some of the distracting branches. I think cloning out some more branches out would make it cleaner but then what do I know... :)
Thanks, Jay. I think you are right, there are a couple that if they come out would leave the birds more open but still "framed". Can't think of a single one to clone in the third image, though, I LIKE that tree :wink:

Thanks, all, much appreciated.
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
978
Location
Viera Fl
I need the trainer to do a better job here , then I will send:>))
I only have one shot of that birdie.
It isn't all that great...
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Joined
Jan 17, 2006
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1,883
Location
Boaz, Alabama
I personally am very fond of a well executed bird image that includes habitat or dead space. Your third image, to me, would make a great print. Beautiful bird and an interesting perch!
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
15,253
Location
Marysville, WA
I need the trainer to do a better job here , then I will send:>))
I only have one shot of that birdie.
It isn't all that great...
That is CLOSE!!!!! I'm envious. This is one where I'd be using the "Blend-If" method to drop in a nice blue sky with a puffy cloud or two, without a doubt.

Beautiful shots no matter how you crop it! I have yet to get a good shot of a kestril! Little devil likes to perch too far off on the wire!
Thanks. I agree, these guys are often quite far off, and being so darned small makes it doubly obnoxious. I have some GREAT hovering shots, unfortunately the bird only fills about 1% of the frame :mad: :mad:

I personally am very fond of a well executed bird image that includes habitat or dead space. Your third image, to me, would make a great print. Beautiful bird and an interesting perch!
Thanks, that third one is certainly going to be printed and hung. I agree with you comlpletely, although telephone poles and wires have now become "normal" habitat, but when I can find a tree like this one it just adds a "bit more" I think.
 
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