Harris's Squabbling

Harris’s hawks work as a group, the only hawks that do this . We have 5 at the Desert Museum and there is a definite pecking order. Who gets to sit higher up is the dominant one. However, that may be only for a moment or so. They don’t ever hurt each other but, this is common behavior.

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

All comments welcome.

Technical Details

Canon R6, Canon 100-500mm, f/5, 176mm, ISO 200. 1/1600sec.
LR and PS. Did Sky replacement from PS.

My! Great action. I guess I’d just go ahead and clone away the top of the cactus, though.

Wow this is truly amazing. I’m especially drawn to how messed up their tails are - cringe! Because raptors are so fierce looking no matter what they’re doing, this seems to be much more “epic battle” than it probably was. Great arcs of wings and talons and you have both faces in the frame which is important. I like the diagonals that their shapes created for you. I see a few things that could improve this if you wanted to try them out. One would be to lift the shadows a bit in the birds - especially the heads and eyes. That would help us see and connect more with them - maybe also a touch of local contrast either with texture or clarity, but not much. Another would be to reduce the saturation in the sky and last to get rid of the cactus. Such drama! I bet I’d be a frequent visitor to the museum with these guys on display.

Ok, the more I look at this the more I think it really might only need a lift in the mid tones. Hm. Might have to download and play.

Thanks for the suggestions. I did get rid of the cactus and brightened the sky so not as saturated.
The flight show is 10:00 AM and so the light is harsh and getting rid os deep shadows is always difficult. Worked on the shadows. Would be interested to see what you could do. Unfortunately
, you will have a JPEG and I still have RAW.

1 Like

Great action, Charlie. Yeah, the scheduled events always seem to be in horrible light anywhere you go. I agree with Kris’ suggestions and it sounds as if you’re playing with them. To my eye, the tone of the blue sky is a little off, but I’m in the Pacific Northwest where we have a lot more moisture in the air and that does change the tone of the sky.

I did lighten things up. I hope I didn’t overdo it.

The repost looks good, @Charlie_Chaffee . If you feel like it you could clone out those out of focus branches on the bottom. I didn’t notice them in the original post.

Thanks. I will go back and look at it.

I think this is awesome! The RP is good for a brighter exposure. I would remove the OOF branches, though. I didn’t mind the cactus but wonder if there might be more canvas at the bottom without too much clutter. I think I’d like seeing a bit more of the cactus if that’s possible. Wonderful as is, though!! What gorgeous birds!!

I have done what you have suggested except for the cactus. It just poked its head up that much. As you can tell, the birds up fairly high up and I thought if I backed off more on the zoom, I would lose the detail of the birds.
Thanks. I always appreciate your suggestions. NPN is such a great learning experience.
It is now printed and will hang in the Student Art Show at the Museum this Spring. At 86, I am still glad to in the student category.