Cleared for Takeoff

Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


This past March, I visited the Crane Trust which is one of several organizations on the North Platte River near Kearney, Nebraska which provide habitat for the migrating Sandhill Cranes. This was one of the few instances where there weren’t hundreds if not thousands of cranes in the river as many had gone into the neighboring fields to forage. I was lucky to capture this image with the bird against the solid blue background of the river.

Technical Details

Canon R5 and 600 mm lens at f/11, 1/3200 and Auto ISO.

1 Like

A beautiful take-off image of this crane, Richard. The wing position is excellent and the splash off the rear foot adds to the sense of motion. I also like it’s slight angle toward you. It is difficult to isolate a single bird in that area, so congratulations on doing so. I’ve been to the Platte a couple of times during the spring migration and it’s worth going just to bask in the incredible sound even if I don’t come back with a single usable image.

This is a great composition. It sounds like you had a vision for your image and achieved it which is always a great feeling. The top third tells the the story of the hundreds of birds nearby in the fields which must be part of the magic there. I can also see another crop with only the water as a background.
I do find the water a bit bright behind the subject. I think if the water were a little bit darker the bird would pop out more. Just something to consider.
Very well done!

Hi Richard, nice catch isolating this crane. I like the running on water pose as the bird takes off. Nice angle toward us also as Dennis states. Well done.

Dennis, Robena and Allen: thanks for taking the time to look and comment. I have attached a second image with the water darkened a bit as Robena has suggested.


That does make a big difference, Richard. The crane really pops now.

1 Like

Dennis: thank you for your comment and the Editors Pick.

I love Sandhill Cranes and, I love this image. A great action capture. The composition really draws the viewer into the scene. Your DOF is great for bringing the eye to the bird taking off and the softness of the many other Cranes in the background. I do think the change in the water was helpful in showing off the bird even better. Great work Richard. This is a joy to view.