Critique Welcomed Fighting Moorhens

Discussion in 'Animals and Wildlife' started by Lee Webb, Apr 26, 2013.

  1. Lee Webb

    Lee Webb Member

    Taken at 3200ISO to ensure a high enough shutter speed after the sun had gone down and it was raining. Taken with the D4 and 500mm f/4 VR. Full frame and taken hand held. Only adjustments were an increase in exposure value by 0.3 and a 10% boost in saturation. 1/1600th @ f/4. Tell me your thoughts!

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 26, 2013
  2. Glenn Clabo

    Glenn Clabo Well-Known Member

    Posterific? Wonderful...right moment. Overall...just wonderful. Can you tell I like it?
  3. Rob MacKillop

    Rob MacKillop Edinburgh Correspondent

    Lots of energy, and great timing. I like the tonality and exposure level you've set. Makes it quite atmospheric. Good shot!
  4. David Mitchell

    David Mitchell Active Member

    I like the bit with the birds in it :D looks great and you have done a fab job getting the shutter speed up to freeze the motion as well as being able to see the water coming off the talon of the top bird as its in motion.
  5. Paul Lange

    Paul Lange Moderator

    I do like that with the sprays of water and mud and the suggestion that the bird on the right has been defeated. I don't know if I am keen on the green OOF rocks on the left, I find they distract me a little.
  6. Beth Anthony

    Beth Anthony Well-Known Member

    wow! perfect timing and detail!
  7. My thoughts?
    How is wow?
    Seriously, good for you. That is a very very well made photograph. Impeccable timing, and it simply looks great.
  8. Jim Kuo

    Jim Kuo The man in the hat

    As others have mentioned, the water sprays add a lot of drama. I am certainly feeling the energy and chaos of the scene.

    It's also brilliantly executed, especially at that focal length and void of a tripod!
  9. Lee Webb

    Lee Webb Member

    Thank you all for your kind comments
    I know Paul I feel the same way but at the level of competition I enter I am forbidden from cloning anything from images, and as this whole fight happened in around a second or two, I had no time to move to position myself so I couldn't see the green rocks, and if I had moved to the right I'd have ended up in a lake so... I always think true wildlife photography is making the best out of the situations you're faced with!
  10. Paul Lange

    Paul Lange Moderator

    Yeah, I appreciate that in these fleeting moments you don't have the luxury and asking the subjects to stop and move a bit to the right. It'll be nice if you could though but those pesky wild animals are just so untrained. TBH I only mentioned it because I misread the prefix and though it said critique required otherwise I wouldn't have mentioned it.
  11. Hamish Gill

    Hamish Gill Well-Known Member

    I have no issue with the green rocks, in fact the oof area of the photo is pretty spot on for me. There is good separation from the background, but you have retained a reasonable amount of context - the branch(?) and more water as well as the green rocks frame the birds for me ... And I do like a moorhen... When I used to live next to the canal they used to make me chuckle!

    I suspect the green rocks feeling distracting is more related to the framing, which although good, I think is a little tight to the top wing. I think if the framing included a little bit more on top, a smidge more down the right and a little more down the left the breathing room around the birds would help. That said the tightness does add to the feeling of excitement in the moment ...
    Its an impressive image, if not perfect, it's a fine achievement!
  12. Lee Webb

    Lee Webb Member

    I agree fully, but it takes me back to my previous point - shooting with a fixed focal length lens in scenarios like this where you only have a second to react doesn't leave you with many options!
  13. Stan Hesketh

    Stan Hesketh Member

    A superb shot. Loads of energy. I love it :)
  14. Chris Dodkin

    Chris Dodkin West Coast Correspondent

    How about a 4:3 crop?


    You loose the green rock distraction

    Each bird is now on a point of focus based on the rule of thirds

    The wing of the bird on the left now points nicely to the corner of frame

    The bird on the left now appears to be flying into frame to attack the bird on the right - so the tight crop at the top of frame works in your favor

    The other point I'd mention is around water droplets and image sharpening.

    I see similar prominent droplets on my surfing shots, and any sharpening applied to the image in general just enhances the frozen droplets to the point of distraction.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2013
  15. Lee Webb

    Lee Webb Member

    That's a really interesting idea with the crop like that but I'm not sure how much I like it with the left bird missing it's wingtips
  16. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    I like Chris' suggestion regarding the crop Lee and the missing wing tip doesn't bother me at all. Usually a prefer less tight crops in wildlife shots as I often miss context but in this instance I think it adds to the whole.

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