Female Evening Grosbeak

We’ve had a pair of Evening Grosbeaks breeding somewhere around here the last two or three years (at least I see them and the juvies at my baths later in the summer). We had a pair show up at our backyard feeders a couple of days ago, and I saw a small flock today, though most don’t seem to have hung around. However, we had a pair who did. This is the female in backlit in pretty harsh light.

What technical feedback would you like if any?

Anything. I did some burning of brighter areas and a touch of dodging on the face. Other than that, just normal processing.

What artistic feedback would you like if any?


Pertinent technical details or techniques:

Sony a6500, FE 200-600 @ 600 mm, hand held, f/8, 1/1250, iso 800, manual exposure. Processed in LR & PS CC. Cropped to 4352x2936 pixels.

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A nice head on view of a Grosbeak. I really like the fanned out tail and the character perch. The bg highlights are a real nuisance sometimes but this looks fine. The bg is an interesting color. If mine I might have had a look at a bit more burning just in front of eye, just a bit to see if it worked.


That’s a gorgeous perch and a gorgeous pose. The fan out tail is particularly attractive. It doesn’t look harsh at all. I think it actually creates a nice effect on the tail. Finally, I think the specular highlights in the BG are quite interesting as they seem to create some sort of vignette around the bird.

I will echo what the others have said. Great pose and backlit tail. I like the way the highlights seem to frame him. I might have cropped just a tad more to eliminate the brightest areas on the upper left and the one brighter sliver on the lower right but it’s not a deal breaker.

Good catch Dennis. You made the most of this despite the backlight challenge.

Gotta love grosbeaks. Your backyard sounds like an aviary of some sort! I think you handled the back light really well. The fanned tail makes the shot for me. Everything looks good except that I think you have a greenish-yellow color cast. What do you think of the below?

Thanks, @Lyle_Gruby. There may have been a bit of a color cast. It’s hard to say, given how green the world around here is right now. The background in this shot is a row of Douglas Firs about 100 yards away and they’re putting out a light yellow green new growth as well as all the green reflected from the ground.

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Nice to have the grosbeak posed like this. Good detail and an attractive perch. I could see trying to remove the highlights on the left upper corner, though the ones on the right seem to frame the bird.