Breath in, breath out

Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


Two weeks ago I ventured out with a client from Luxemburg who had expressed the desire to see and frame Bluethroat. Days before I had been searching for an individual that was more or less approachable. Although I had hoped for it, I hadn’t expected the circumstances for shooting close to perfect for making this kind of shots.

Specific Feedback


Technical Details

Nikon Z9 with 500mm + TC @700mm | 1/1250s | f6,3 | ISO500 | monopod. I enhanced contrast and saturated the image a bit. I thought of cloning out the LRH twig, but decided to leave it as to balance the image. Not 100% sure though :thinking:


Outstanding silhouetted scene here, Hans. The breath cloud is the story for sure… :+1:

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Just plain awesome, Hans. A perfect backlit scene and that breath cloud was utterly perfect in the light. There’s nothing I would change in this one.

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Awesome color and backlighting, Hans! :slight_smile:

The highlights on the foliage and the bird is a very nice feature!

The “Steam Ring” is great, it reminds me of people blowing smoke rings back in my youth (with cigarette smoke).

Very cool! :slight_smile:

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Perfect. An enviable shot.

Stunning, Hans. Love the lighting and your processing. Yes, I would leave the twig in the LRC, works for me. Great shot!

WOW!! All said above! For my taste, it’s leave the twig or crop, with a 50-50 preference.

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Hi Hans
Some time it pays to break the general rule of having the sun to your back. Very creative photography.

I’ll add to the accolades Hans. Very fine image! The backlighting is handled masterfully and the breath is a killer element. I’m fine with this crop as posted and agree with Diane that the crop would work either way.

Wow is right! Looks like you have frost on the flora as well! I personally would remove the twig by cropping it out and leaving some of the negative space. This is a stunning photograph! Well done.

A beautiful scene, Hans. I had missed this one, so I come in a bit late, but this is a wonderful image.
No need to enhance nature in this case as far as I’m concerned :wink: , you can leave the twig.
Congrats for the EP as well.

Beautiful catch . An inspiration for me to try the same technique.

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Oh wow, Hans, this is really a great shot. The breath being visible with the back lighting really is icing on the cake! Stunning image and worthy of Editior’s Pick! Congratulations! :+1: :+1:

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One of the best things about the arrival of springtime songbirds is catching their breath like this! Beautiful image! I like your idea of getting rid of the twig at the lower right. I might have cropped it a bit, dragging the lower right side up and to the left, then cloning out what ever still shows. I wonder how it would look to selectively lighten the shadows on the bird without losing the golden highlights around the edges? Keep it a silhouette, but tease us with a little more detail in the shadows. Love the warms tones here for sure!

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Thanks @Paul_Holdorf for your good suggestions, I tried lightening up in some of the other images of the series, here i.m.o. it wasn’t making things better though :wink:

Love it! The back lit breaths!!!