First heard, then seen (+1 new crop)

A crop, reduced greens and some CAF as well so the frame didn’t get too tight -

I heard a lone loon call in the night and the next day while approaching the dock in my kayak, I saw it. Loons on our bit of river are pretty used to humans so it didn’t move off while feeding, but stayed close. Unfortunately it didn’t catch anything while I was shooting. Maybe next time.

Funny observation - many times when they start out close to the dock, they move off fairly quickly with each dive. This one didn’t and stayed close dive after dive - about 40 feet or so. I wonder if it was my kayak approach. When I first got to the dock, the light was gone so I pulled the boat up onto the lawn. Then the light improved so I got the camera and sat on the end. The loon didn’t move. Interesting. I’m sure it saw me hauling the boat and walking around though so I’m not sure the water approach meant anything.

Specific Feedback Requested

Any - I know it’s just a loon sitting there looking at me.

Technical Details

Handheld but hands braced on knees.


Lr for all processing - a bit of a crop, reduced greens a bit, linear gradient to lower exposure in the water closest to me, a little texture added, curves adjustment to get those rich blacks right and a bit of sharpening & nr - Topaz Sharpen to bring up some detail.

Wow, beautiful bird, Kris. Your exposure and focus point are spot on. And your processing looks fantastic.

Maybe you have a pet loon, willing to pose for future shots? The bird seems well camouflaged by the reflections, which could be the story, but for me it’s a bit lost in the frame. I wonder about a crop from the top to remove the largest reflections, and it might be interesting to see how it would look if the brightest bottom area was more green. As is, the brighter top and bottom areas pull my attention away from the loon.

You are lucky to get so close. The detail and color are fantastic. I might cut the green saturation by a small amount.

Thanks to The Three Ds! I can certainly mess with cropping more and also continuing to reduce the greens. I guess maybe they are still too much. Hard to judge sometimes when I’ve gone too far, or not far enough.

And yeah, I can’t believe I live here sometimes and that the wildlife is so abundant. This am I saw the loon again (too far for pics) and startled our local doe and her twins.

A beautiful shot of the loon, Kris. We don’t see that many of them here. I think they use something like 11 or 13 lakes in the state. We do get them on salt water in the winter.

Well make it the Four Ds! Sorry you don’t have many of these, @Dennis_Plank - they are wonderful to have around both to watch and to listen to and I don’t get tired of either.

I’ve put a 2nd shot in the OP after cropping and using a bit of CAF as per @Diane_Miller’s suggestion. Better? Oh and a pulled the greens down a bit, too.

I like the repost, Kris. The tighter crop shows off the iridescence in parts of the plumage a lot better.

Very nice image and I like the repost as well. That red eye is really something. Nice overall setting with that green water. Very well captured.

Thanks guys. It was around again, so says my husband, but when I got home it had moved on. They are a treat to have around.