Black-crowned Night Heron Reflecting on Its Ways - Recrop/edit

Critique Style Requested: Standard

The photographer is looking for generalized feedback about the aesthetic and technical qualities of their image.


This is a photo from our local ponds of a Black-crowned Night Heron and its reflection. We get a lot of black-crowned and yellow-crowned along with a lot of great blues in our ponds.

Specific Feedback

I liked the almost monochrome look of this image and the strong reflections throughout.

Technical Details

Canon R5, f11, 1/1600 sec, iso 4000, 100-500 lens at 500 mm.

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1 Like

Hi Ed,

This is a good look at one of these nocturnal herons. You may want to rotate it a nudge CCW and maybe recrop to minimize the diagonal green stem. It does catch my eye. Other than that, a nice catch with excellent exposure and sharpness…Jim

Excellent, Ed. I like the monochrome look, but to my eye, the heron was getting a little lost in the composition and the reeds above weren’t as interesting as their reflections. I took the liberty of downloading it and doing some work in PS.

Straightened based on a vertical line between the tip of the beak and it’s reflection (it was very minor), cropped quite a bit tighter, retaining more of the water and less of the reeds. Removed a couple of errant reeds that were crossing the two upper corners and were distracting. Selected the bird and gave it a little micro-contrast boost using an old Topaz plugin called Detail 3 (there’s still a detail tab in Topaz Studio 2 that will do the same thing-I’m just used to using the old one and I can go directly there instead of having to go through a couple of screens first). Saved a copy.

@Jim_Zablotny and @Dennis_Plank, thank you so much for your insights and help on this one. Dennis, your edits make all the difference in the world. The heron stands out nicely, I haven’t lost anything in the upper reeds, and it is a lot neater overall. Thank you especially for the steps you used. I think I can actually do that with the software I have.

The edited version is a big improvement.

1 Like

Nice job on the rework, Ed.

1 Like

Hi Ed, I like this with the uniform color tones of the reeds and birds spilling down to the wavy reflection. The red eye stands out in a subtle way from the rest of the image. Repost looks really good. Nice capture.

@Allen_Sparks, thank you for your review and comments on this.

Ed, another really nice catch. Dennis’s edits help a lot, and his steps help ME too. I’d forgotten about the old Topaz “detail”…

Thanks @SandyR-B.