Eyes On You

Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


We found this juvenile bald eagle perched on a gate at Jackson Lake dam in Grand Teton National Park on the first day of a photo workshop. The eagle let us get fairly close and kept its eyes locked on us for about 15 minutes. An amazing experience.

Specific Feedback


Technical Details

Fuji X-T3
ISO 1250
Fujinon XF 100-400mm at 230mm

Now that is a stare-down! Whenever an eagle stares at me I get goosebumps so this is extra engaging. Sometimes they are big chickens and fly off the second I get near and others, like this one, are pretty self-assured and tolerant of us. The changing plumage is a nice touch - I put this one at 3-5 years old. Focus and other technicals look good. The leaning fence makes me crazy, but that’s how they are sometimes and the bird itself looks straight.

In terms of cropping this is pretty centered, but since the gaze is also laser focused on us and symmetrical I think it works. Do you have more in the frame? If so you could eliminate some of the pipe on the right and put the bird off center with more room around the left. Maybe see if giving it a horizontal flip does anything, it sometimes has a surprising effect on photos.

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I see a new handwave beside your name, so first of all, welcome to NPN. I find this a great place to learn! I hope you do too.

This image makes me smile…juveniles are always so bedraggled looking. I agree with Kristen’s suggestions and might also try a different aspect ratio e.g. 4:5 to shave a bit off the top for better balance. It doesn’t look crooked to me as the horizontal bar seems level.

Thanks for sharing your amazing experience!

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Cool shot, and welcome to NPN!! Wonderful detail and sharpness! Juvies are often more tolerant of other species. Then they learn…

The pier is leaning but the horizon looks straight so that’s good. (I’m the self-appointed horizon police here.) Clicking on your icon I see this is your second post – off to check out the first one, which looks awesome!

I look forward to more posts and your comments on other images!

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Thank you all! I’ll attach two variations taking into account the suggestions here - I’m not sure how to do this so here goes…