Beautiful Day in The Northwest - Winter

Not a beautiful day for the vole!

I took this image at 12:37 on December 30th of 2015 under sunny skies. It has always amazed me that I was able to get any detail in the whites under those conditions, but I did have the advantage of being near solstice and north of 45 degrees latitude, which makes for some relatively low sun even at noon. I’ve posted other images from this sequence in the past, but decided to find one I hadn’t posted and process it as new.

What technical feedback would you like if any?

Anything you notice that looks awry or could be done better.

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

Does the chop-off of the Egret work?

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

(If this is a composite, etc. please be honest with your techniques to help others learn)
7DII, Sigma 150-600 C @ 562 mm, beanbag on car window, f/7.1, 1/5000, iso 400, aperture priority, pattern metering, -2/3 EV. Processed in LR & PS CC. Noise reduction with Neat Image. Cropped from the sides to a 4x5 aspect ratio. Brought up texture in the whites with Topaz Detail, used a TK Darks 2 mask on the Egret and Vole and raised exposure to bring up the brightness of the vole. Tamed/eliminated a few bright out of focus pieces of grass.

You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.

Wonderful image! I’ve never seen an Egret catch a vole before. You did a great job with the contrast between bird and prey. Nice background - not distracting but enough to give a sense of the environment. I do think your crop works. I might have come up just a tad more to eliminate the space between leg & body but very minor. I really like this not only because the techs are good but it’s something you don’t see often.

Dennis, the quality and subtlety in the whites of the Egret are terrific. Yes, not a good day for the vole, but catching the catch is quite a feat. I think your crop works well.

Dennis, a very fine image here. It looks like a beautiful day out there, all except for the poor vole of course…:sunglasses:

Wonderful catch, Dennis ( both the egret and you !! ). The chop-off is fine by me, though I just wonder whether a square crop might be even stronger ? Great whites !!

The chop-off isn’t a problem but a square-ish crop or vertical would eliminate the dead space, and might be better.
I bet with Viveeza, you might be able to tease out even more white detail.

A beautiful day for the Egret and the photographer; not so much for the vole! A unique avian photo, Dennis. The close-up view works great here because the “catch” is an important part of the scene. Good job on the exposure also. Nice and bright but still keeps the texture and detail in the feathers.

Excellent handling of the whites. Great vole and eye of the heron.
A bit more dead space on the left than needed - but an sweet image!
Congrats on the EP!