July 4th Cormorants Taking it Easy after a Morning Swim

Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


I was hiking the Nelson Unit at the Pte Mouillee State Game Area and was hoping to get the black necked stilt. Scanning with the 600mm f4, I noticed a few double crested cormorants at a nearby marina so I headed back to my car. After arriving at the marina, clouds rolled and I was able to find several cormorants perched near the water. I was able to get some high key images of these two birds and picked this one as one of the better ones from the series. Very artsy with one bird drying its wings while the other was taking a nap.

Specific Feedback

This image turned out to be like a watercolor paining. What do think about this one?

Technical Details

z9 600mm f4 (1/640 sec at f13, ISO 1600) Denoise, Significant crop for comp, Levels, Shadow & Highlights, Brightness & Contrast…Jim

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Hi Jim
I really like the framing, the two Cormorants have a story to tell. The over all image quality is very good, with good contrast, feather detail and eye contact and your right, it is artsy.

I love the high key background, Jim, and the composition is excellent. Having the lower bird looking up at the other one makes this image really work well.

Jim, I love this image! It has a striking simplicity that really draws me in. The high key effect works beautifully here, isolating the cormorants against a stark white background, which emphasizes their forms and postures. The composition is strong, with one bird spreading its wings, creating a dynamic focal point, while the other stands calmly, adding balance to the scene. The way you’ve captured the drying cormorant’s wings provides a sense of movement and vitality, contrasting with the stillness of the other bird. :clap:

Hi Jim, I like the high key look with the contrast of the dark birds. The poses/interaction of the pair work well together. I like the wavy reflection too. Nice exposure on the birds. Artsy and well done.