First time posting a photo and looking for any input that can help me the next time that I capture s

What technical feedback would you like if any?

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

(If backgrounds have been removed, etc. please be honest with your techniques to help others learn)

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Robert, welcome to NPN. You’ll probably get a few suggestions. I’ll offer one for starters: I think you could crop a bit tighter from the top and maybe the left. There’s just a bit too much empty space, and you can draw the focus in on the subject a bit better by tightening the composition a little. The man-made elements are inescapable here, so unless you’re into lots of cloning they’ll stay. You may as well bring in the left edge a bit closer to the red disks there… this also will move the pole and hawk leftward a bit, which will work fine with the right-facing look of the subject.


Welcome to NPN, Robert. I think you’ll find this a great site for improving your photography; I know it was for me. I like the pose you captured; it’s a very nice look at the hawk. I would agree with Max’s suggestions for cropping and if possible clone out the man-made elements-you might be able to crop out most of them. Generally, it’s helpful to post your technical data: camera, lens, speed, ISO, f-stop, etc. Look forward to more of your work.

Hi Robert. Welcome to NPN and the Avian forum. This is a nice first post. I really like the pose of the hawk and the exposure looks excellent. You’ll probably get some comments on the “unnatural” perch, but this is the world we created and everything that wants to survive has to live in it and take advantage of it the best they can. I’ve seen a lot more hawks on phone and power poles than on trees. A few things you could do to make this image even more effective: The bird itself is slightly out of focus, but it looks like the insulators on the right are nice and sharp. If you are using all the auto-focus points on your camera, they have a tendency to lock onto man-made objects because the algorithms like nice crisp edges, which we’re very good at creating. When I shoot birds in any kind of busy setting, I use just a few AF points and try to make sure they’re locked on the bird (preferably the eye, if possible). The composition could work a little bit better if the hawk were further toward the top and left of the frame. Having a bit less room at the top gives the illusion that the hawk is lower than it actually is and more on your level. Putting it a bit further left gives more room in the direction it’s looking. I’m not sure of the psychology behind that, but it works.

By the way,it helps a lot with critiquing if you can provide the camera settings and general processing you used.

Again, welcome to NPN; it’s a great place to develop your skills. I look forward to seeing a lot more of your work and your comments on others images.

Hi Robert,
Welcome to NPN. Not a lot to say that hasn’t been said but to reiterate, I would dropout the man made objects as best you can. Like someone said this day and age it’s hard to capture an image, especially of birds, that don’t have hand of man. But also the hand of man objects are more in focus than the head and eye of the bird. If your camera has a center focus button I would have used it. Be sure to turn on the focus points so they will display. That way you will know where the camera is focusing. I know with my cameras, Sony ILCA-99M2 and ILCMA77M2, the focus point display can be set to show for a set time and then disappear or can be set to display all time. Keep mine set to display all the time because in continuous AF the AF point can jump around even in AF-lock. Also, when shooting a stationary subject I would use Single AF that way the focus point also doesn’t jump around.
But, all that said it’s a nice shot. I have similar images of an Osprey on top of a pole with a fish in its talons. If it wasn’t against the rules I’d post it here for you to see. If you wish you can go to my Flickr page and find them there. Here’s link to one Osprey with catch on a pole

George, I’m not aware that such a post would be against the rules. If so, it’s news to me.