Cattle Egret

Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


These shots are from a rookery last week in Louisiana. The first image is an egret carrying a live oak branch.

Specific Feedback

In the first image, I’m wondering how much the two dark blobs in front and below the bird distract. Any thoughts on that?

Technical Details

Canon R7, 400mm f4 DO IS II, 1.4x extender III
first image: ISO 6400, f6.3, 1/2000s
second image: ISO 400, f6.3, 1/3200s
third image: ISO 800, f6.3, 1/3200s
fourth image: ISO 2500, f7.1, 1/5000s

All hand held.

Critique Template

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  • Vision and Purpose:
  • Conceptual:
  • Emotional Impact and Mood:
  • Composition:
  • Balance and Visual Weight:
  • Depth and Dimension:
  • Color:
  • Lighting:
  • Processing:
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Here is another version of first image with the dark blobs taken out.


Love this Allen. The elegance of this egret in flight, carrying a branch, is truly reminiscent of Picasso’s Dove of Peace. The moment is beautifully captured, exuding a sense of tranquility and purpose.

Technically, the image is superb. The egret is sharply in focus, with the delicate details of its feathers and the branch it carries clearly visible. The background is nicely blurred, allowing the bird to stand out prominently. The composition is balanced, with the egret positioned perfectly in the frame, giving a sense of movement and direction. The soft lighting enhances the natural colors and textures, adding to the serene quality of the image.

Beautiful series, Allen, particularly the first. The leafy branch really makes a huge difference over the bare ones in the second and third images. The dark blobs didn’t really bother me, but I do think the repost is a subtle improvement. The lighting is superb in this image.

Hi Allen
There is really nothing to add to Don & Dennis comments. The first un-edited photograph is a postcard for world pease.

Allen, what an outstanding series. I too think that the first post has extra impact and interest. The details and variety of subtle colors are amazing. Elegant, especially with the green branch, is a good description. The subtle blue around it’s eye is the kind of “extra” that makes repeated viewing a pleasure.

I agree with the others that the first one, with the leaves, has more impact: it’s a matter of the graceful lines, softness of the branch, and the implicit allusions to dove of peace and other such peace symbols/banners. If we keep with the grand symbols, the third one is wearing a crown of thorns.

It keeps catching my eye, and I’m not a bird in flight aficionado, though I do appreciate the patience and skill it takes to get a capture like this and have it composed so beautifully.

I didn’t even notice them until you pointed them out. Now, that’s all I see–the power of suggestion at work. What caught my attention was how the bird was carrying the branch. I couldn’t see the small branch in its bill until I downloaded and enlarged the picture. The detail in the feathers and the live branch is wonderful. This is a wall hanger. Perhaps, those dark spots could be toned down just a bit. If you have to ask about them, then you may have your answer. By the way the other shots are additions to the collection.

All are wonderful, but the first one is special!! All said above!! The darker blobs didn’t bother me at first, either, but seeing the version without them made me think maybe they could just be lightened a little, especially the area where one touches the edge of the frame. Their visual weight does counterbalance the bird a little.

Allen, this first image is such a winner! I think it’s perfect. I like he position of the bird in the frame and the soft background. The “dark blobs” are not distracting and the bird almost fits in them as if they belong. Such an excellent image.

All excellent, but agree with the others about the first one. I really didn’t see the blobs; my eye goes right to the egret, but I do like the re-do better. Great series.

Beautiful images Allen, especially the first one! Keep up the good work!