Critique Style Requested: Standard

The photographer is looking for generalized feedback about the aesthetic and technical qualities of their image.


I recently got this inflight flapping male black-headed grosbeak. These cool looking, great sounding birds are always welcome here. They’re seasonal and they’ve only been here a week or so. Yay!

Specific Feedback

I’d like feedback on the cropping, and any comments on the motion blur of the wings which I actually like. Sometimes at higher shutter speeds I will get inflight images that look like they are suspended on a string that I don’t really care for. What say you?

Technical Details

Z9, Nikon 200-500 lens, monopod, 1/1600th, f 8.0, 750mm, ISO 1000, cropped to 2408 x 1629, Photo AI

Sharp detail in the face and I like the wing blur. My only nit would be the bright blue area-draws the eye a bit.

Nice catch! I don’t mind the blur. The blacks on the head look blocked up – just a small tweak would fix it. Sharpening looks overdone – the catchlight shows some motion blur. I don’t know Photo AI but in Topaz Sharpen AI there is a motion blur correction that can be amazing if the base image is sharp otherwise. It would be easy to bend the blue color without any masking needed. The rest of the BG is very pleasant, but the blue is just in the wrong place.

Very good to catch this guy in flight, Dave. I agree with the others about the blue, but it is easily fixed. I do find myself wishing you had caught the wings up to show that yellow patch better, but that’s just the luck of the draw.

I treated the blue in the BG and the motion blur in the eye glint, and clarified the beak a bit. I do think it helped it. Thanks so much for the suggestions.

1 Like

Very cool! I agree shots like these can look unreal…maybe because we are so used to seeing the idealized shot of the wings above the head. Great technique go catch in flight!