Critique Finding waldo. Another environmental portrait.

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GBH just starting rebuilding a nest.
I shot this nest a lot last year. This early in the season the background color is nicer- but we are several months from true nesting and younr.
Still was a pretty day.
gary
LakeEloise1221 26136_DxO.jpg
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I would like to have the bird stand out a bit more.
For this group of images I want the bird to be secondary, or at least somewhat hidden in the picture. I like the way the coloration in birds blends into their nesting environment.
I have way way way too many pictures of birds. Sharp, nicely posed birds. In flight, on sticks, mating, swimming, etc. Way too many. Looking to do something different- for me. For instance, this image is taken at about 200mm. I have the same image at 600mm which has a lot more of the gbh. It is kind of too routine.
It is, at least for me, much harder to use the background at wider focal lengths.
I certainly may be paddling the wrong way, but I am going to play with this some more.
I do appreciate the comments and want to hear others opinions- my local groups are still not meeting so this is my sounding board.
Thanks for looking
gary
 

Butlerkid

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Lovely light and colors, but I'd like to at least be able to discern a neck or head. LOL! The bright green in the lower left really draws the eye down and then somewhat to the right edge. How about this? I would suggest toning down the upper left corner just a bit.

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I never even thought about vertical- will play with the idea. Thanks Mitch.
This bird never did give me a nice pose- I need to talk to his manager.
I do see the advantages to the crop- thanks Karen.
Mike, not much of what I do will ever catch on- but it is surprisingly challenging. So much easier to zoom in and snap another bird picture.
I think I will still paddle in this direction for a while- at least while the colors remain. Then it will be nesting season and the fun starts.
thanks again
gary
 
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I actually like the photo as is, because the environment has great shapes and colors. Sharpening the image to make the bird stand out more doesn't help the image in my opinion. But it might be better to darken the bright green at bottom right corner (or change the color to a yellowish green) as it is distracting like Karen mentioned already. The original image has a surreal feeling and I like it very much. But this is just me..
 
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Thanks!!
I agree, and have changed, the bottom corner was distracting. Like our children, I am often too close to my own images to see some obvious flaws.
Our fall/winter colors are fading rapidly- so I am likely done with this series. I do have some ideas for next year!!
gary
 
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Great shot. I am only used to seeing them at ground level or flying. I had to look closely to make sure the Spanish moss was not a reflection.
 
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Gary, I keep coming back to this lovely photo. Did you ever try a vertical crop?

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Mitch, I really like that crop- you can crop my work anytime you want! I played a little with it, but nothing clicked. Seeing it anew- I like this.
Thanks for bringing this back to my mind.
Most of the red colors are now gone, but they are building a nest here- should be an interesting season. This spot gets interesting light throughout the day.
gary
 
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I guess I missed this one first time around. There have already been enough comments on this photo to which I have nothing useful to add. But regarding the overall concept I think it's great. I've made a couple of aborted attempts at doing something similar with more environmental shots as opposed to isolating the subject. In my case I always revert to my comfort zone. I think the only way I could make myself do it would be to leave the long glass at home. One advantage that you have is access to these spots where you can try out different comps etc to compare. I will say that this style of photo is sure to display better in a large format than it does viewing it on my 13 inch laptop.

I've got a nagging feeling that I've made these or very similar comments on one of your previous posts. If so forgive the repetition.
 
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Thanks Dan.
I did find these challenging- it is much easier (sometimes too easy) to move in close, throw on long glass and take another bird picture. I have more bird pictures than anyone ever needs, yet I continue to take more. This concept was to break out of my box a little. It did not come naturally- but I got better at it over time. This area is only a couple of hundred yards wide, yet compositions are still endless. Most of our reddish colors are now gone- but I more look forward to this time next year to try some more.
You are also right- these look much better BIG.
gary
 

F64

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Well, to me, this isn't a bird photo, but a landscape with a bird in it - the focus being the wonderful surroundings. It's a good idea I think (agreeing with your thought processes) to see more than just the subject in a series of photos and to drink in the surroundings and what they have to offer as well.
A similar example are waterfalls - certainly nice close up - but definitely benefit when shot with the setting included thoughtfully in the cropping/framing.
 

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