Calling friends

Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


Took my new monopod for a walk, heard this guy calling from a wooded area. As I came closer, it made itself present and continued to call.

Specific Feedback

I’m open to any feedback.

Technical Details

Nikon z6ii, nikkn z 400mm 4.5 + 1.4 TC. Shot at f6.3, 1/1600s, 1100 iso. Off a monopod and wemberly wh200 gimbal

Processed with light room. Did global edits l, then a subject mask, I tried to have the background a bit cooler in comparison to the fore ground.

Hi Kristian,

I really like this image! :slight_smile:
There’s lots of emotion in this for me, especially with the wolf calling for friends.

For me, I would have been on an adrenalin rush while trying to get a shot of this guy (or gal).
I ‘think’ it’s a wolf because the ears appear to be somewhat short and rounded and the snout looks kind of blunt (at least in this view), Coyote have more pointed ears and snouts. I could be wrong about this being a wolf though :slight_smile:

I have a few minor suggestions for an edit but they would be difficult to convey in text alone so I did an example edit to visually demonstrate what I’m thinking.

The global lighting seems a bit harsh, but not too harsh, it could benefit from lowering the overall exposure IMHO.
The vignette looks good but I felt like an elongated and inverted radial gradient mask on an angle from the top left corner to the lower right corner would help to put more emphasis on the wolf (just a manual way of creating a custom shaped vignette).
The snout looks like it has a bit too much blue in it so I masked the blue part and added some warming using the color temperature slider in ACR (Adobe Camera Raw, also with the Lr Ps package), ACR is almost identical to Lr but with less fine tuning controls.
I removed some of the cooler BG and replaced it with a lower exposure and added a little contrast.
I also done some cloning around the wolf, especially the branch that went across the chest area.
Some of the other branches seemed too bright and the easiest way I know of to help that was to use the "Blur’ tool in Ps with the ‘Mode’ set at ‘Darken’, this could have been cloned out as well but it would take some time and patience.
I assume you use Ps (Photoshop) as well since you have Lr? (Ps comes with Lr as a package deal).

I tried to keep the brightness, contrast and saturation the same as it was on the wolf but the exposure level might be slightly lower.

The overall changes are fairly subtle but I feel that they helped, you may not feel that way and that’s OK.
These edit suggestions are simply my personal views which are always very subjective.
In other words, I’m not suggesting that you need to change anything, I’m only offering an alternate perspective on color, exposure, concentrated areas of exposure and cloning/blurring/darkening some of the minor distractions.

Again, wonderful image!

BTW, I noticed that the last time you posted was last July, I would certainly enjoy being able to view more of your work so don’t be shy, share what you have if you’re up for it. :slight_smile:

I hope this helps and I hope you have a great day! :slight_smile:

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A cool story from the woodland.
I think toning down the whites by @Merv helps the frame but the twig right above the nose is bit distracting.

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Thanks for the insight,

I really appreciate the help

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I also not sure if this is a wolf or coyote, either way it is an interesting image. I do think the photo is too busy with the amount of trees in front of the subject. If the image will handle a larger crop I would try it.

A fine photo either way.