Getting a scolding?

Photographed this pair of hummingbirds in Ecuador in 2019. Most of my other photographs of these beautiful birds were of them approaching or leaving feeders, which got monotonous after a while, so I drifted off to try to find birds who were in the bushes and trees rather than at the feeders.

Type of Critique Requested

  • Aesthetic: Feedback on the overall visual appeal of the image, including its color, lighting, cropping, and composition.
  • Conceptual: Feedback on the message and story conveyed by the image.
  • Emotional: Feedback on the emotional impact and artistic value of the image.
  • Technical: Feedback on the technical aspects of the image, such as exposure, color, focus and reproduction of colors and details, post-processing, and print quality.

Specific Feedback and Self-Critique

I wished I had used a smaller aperture, as the bird doing the scolding is not in sharp focus. But I still think the interaction makes the picture memorable (to me at least)

Technical Details

Canon 5D Mk IV, tamron 100-400 mm lens. F6.3, 1/500th sec, auto ISO

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Hello Rohan, welcome to NPN! It paid off to leave the feeders! This is such a great photo, there’s so much expression displayed in both birds. Great capture!


Thanks so much for sharing this super awesome moment. I applaud you for not sticking to the predictable thing.

As a free diver and underwater photographer, you learn to always be looking 360 because you have to. But you often find super amazing things happening behind your back so YES…keep looking and looking.

I really like the interaction with these two and it has an emotional feeling to it because you can tell the barking bird has a very intense message to deliver. You cannot catch this kind of thing standing in the same spot taking the same images with our lighting fast FPS.

You made sure you found something more…and well done.

I find multiple birds tricky because of DOF and where the focus point lands. The camera is gauging depth from there so maybe also try putting your focus point between them? It is a think to practice with so don’t do it when epic action is happening but maybe play around with doves or something to see if you can find a sweet spot between DOF, f stop choice and where you put your focus point.

You can also zoom back a bit to automatically get more DOF and with birds I do that.

Another suggestion…if you want, grab a copy of DXO 6. The noise reduction is fabulous but more importantly for this image, you can apply some great “sharpening” to this bird. Their latest update has incredible tools in it for enhancing images like this.

I also think it is possible this is a shutter speed problem maybe even more than a DOF problem. I personally do not use auto ISO and instead use ISO to generate shutter speed. If you moved and the bird moved, this could also cause that lack of sharpness.

Hope that is helpful.

Thank you so much. You’ve given me much valuable advice. I’ll play around with your suggestions on more common and accessible subjects, as you recommend. I do have DXO Pure Raw and do use it on high ISO photos.
Thanks again

Thank you Vanessa, appreciate you comments.

1 Like