Bird at the Speed of Light

I was taking pictures of the fall colors over the St Joseph River in Michigan and in the
corner of my eye and I saw a bird a clicked the shutter. My shutter speed was way too slow for the bird and resulting in an abstract image. For some reason, I really like the bold colors of the leaves and the subtle shape of the bird.

Type of Critique Requested

  • Emotional: Feedback on the emotional impact and artistic value of the image.

Specific Feedback and Self-Critique

I know this was not a planned picture but I am intrigued by it. I only added a little saturation. I am not sure if it works but it does speak to me.

Technical Details

My Camera is a Nikon D5600, shot 55MM, ISO 200 at 1/16 of a second.
This accidental picture has inspired me to try more ICM photography.


Planned or unplanned this is a really cool image! Definitely worth exploring this technique further. Well done Mike!

The colors look great, Mike and are nicely scattered throughout the frame. There’s also a fine sense of motion. The bird is an intriguing surprise. As “something to try” you might do some dodging of the darkest part of the bird, to make that area a bit less eyecatching and therefore more of a surprise/hidden figure.

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Hi Mike,
that is a great abstract image. I love the effect of the ICM.

I agree with @Mark_Seaver about the dark part of the bird.

I can’t wait to see the result of more experiments.

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Already been said, but I agree - planned, or unplanned this is a fantastic image! Love the brief motion and of course the recognizable bird is a great surprise and anchor to the image.

Blue and gold are always a wonderful color combo - toss in some greens and everything combined and you have an ICM winner.

Definitely encourage you to experiment more! Thanks for sharing.


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Hi Mike, congrats on pulling off a fantastic unplanned image! The combination of motion, colors, and the bird work well here. I also enjoyed your title. A wonderful artistic image you have recorded. I hope you keep experimenting with ICM. It allows for another level of create freedom and expression.


While I am by no means a wildlife photographer, I think this is phenomenal, unique, and well executed. Thanks for sharing with us!

Thank you Eric I appreciate the feedback. As I said in my email after the Out of Chicago your work really inspires me to work how light can affect smaller landscapes. Can’t wait to get started on my Michigan Dunes project.