Female Kestrel with Vole

What technical feedback would you like if any? Any.

What artistic feedback would you like if any? Any.

Any pertinent technical details: I recently shot this female Kestrel eating a Vole just before sunset at the Merced National Wildlife Refuge using a Nikon D500 with a Nikon 2-500 telephoto lens with a 1.4 TC at 1/800th, f/8.0, ISO2000th, focal 700mm cropped to 2316 x 2714 from 5568 x 3712.

You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.

Great subject. I’ve never really had a good opportunity with a kestrel. The light is beautiful, and a prey item is always a big plus. It looks like the big crop has hurt the image quality, and I’d personally prefer a natural perch.

I was so excited to have gotten so close to a Kestrel like this that I did get a little carried away with the tight cropping. I don’t have too much room at the bottom to play with but I intend to open it up some, and I too dislike the birds being on a manmade object. At least this post did have a little personality. Too bad it couldn’t have been a colorful rock. I really appreciate your feedback. Thanks!

Another beauty - the soft light, pose, and prey are just great. I agree with your assessment of cropping too closely - it’s always tempting, but - often - a bit more room or including environment works even better.

A perfect example of this is Max Waugh’s recent 2018 NPN Wildlife #1 win of the year here:

Dave, Please take a chance to read the guidelines about frequency of posting, and also the suggested size of the upload. Even small-size uploads show up very crisp and sharp here - 1100 pixels on the long side is fine, with a quality of 6-7 (under 1 mb).
Keep these great images coming!


I can never get close to these little falcons. Nice light and the prey item is a plus. I find them on man-made perches more often than natural ones. Fencepost works for me. The crop had a disappointing affect on the image quality. You do not say, but I assume that the image was sharpened after the crop?

I honestly do not recall. I sometimes sharpen if the image seems to call for it.