Blue Jays

Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


When I’m visiting family in New York City, I’ll spend time birding Central Park. The Blue Jays and Northern Cardinals are probably my favorites. I find photography challenging due to the very uneven light.

Specific Feedback

Any thoughts appreciated.

Technical Details

Canon R5: 100-500 with 1.4 TC at 700 mm
First: 1/1000 at f10, +2/3 EV, ISO 3200
Second: 1/400 at f10; ISO 1250

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Challenging light for sure Allen but I think you handled it well. I find blue jays to be very spooky birds so congrats getting these shots. Details and poses look good to me. I’m wondering if adding more space in the direction the bird is looking would be possible without adding in distractions. Lowering brightness in the first image in the upper right might be something to try. I notice what might be a processing artifact in the second image right at the top of the bird’s crest.
Both fine catches. I particularly like the second one as we get to see the backside color and patterns.


Nice job handling the light, Allen. I think these birds want to be photographed in winter-they look much spiffier against a snowy background that the yellow/green. That said, you got beautiful detail in the plumage and the backgrounds were handled quite well. I agree with Allen S. that bringing down the bright areas in the upper right of the first image would be nice.

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Allen, I like the second one which has interesting lighting and an ideal BG. These are not easy birds to photograph as they are well aware of their surroundings and always make a move at the sound of a camera…Jim

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Really nice images! I especially\like the second one, with it’s interesting pose and look at the beautiful back feathers. The bright yellow BG might be toned down a tad.
I like the eastern jays much better than our western scrub and stellars

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Very nice pictures. One the one where the bird is on the ground, I would erase some of the grass on the right. I really like the lighting on the back of the bird.

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These are both really nice images Allen. I do like the second better than the first, due mostly to the bright BG in the first, and the great look at the back feathers and the pose of the second. Beautiful birds.

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Very nice images, and Bluejays are hard to capture because they dont hold still for very long. . I agree with the other critiques - maybe darken the background on the top photo.

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wonderful images with good lighting, nice poses, and excellent detail. All are Well composed.

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Allan - meant to add with my critique:

When you’re in NYC, in the spring - if you can - get out to Nickerson Beach or Jamaica Wildlife Refuge. The nesting/interacting terns and skimmers are amazing at Nickerson, and always a bunch of different wading shorebirds at Jamaica.

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When I was back east I was talking with an avid birder who really wanted to come west to see the Stelllar’s Jay. He probably didn’t like my off hand comment they were frequent visitors to our feeders. I would like to get out to Jamaica Bay some time.