Juvenile Dark-eyed Junco

The first for-sure juvenile of the season showed up at my pond completely without adult supervision a couple of days ago. I’m always amazed at how quickly the juveniles of so many species take to the water.

Specific Feedback Requested

Once again, there were a lot of bright blobs of one sort or another in the background that I cleaned up. I’m also a bit ambivalent about the composition of this one. Any input on those issues would be appreciated.

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
A7Riv, FE 200-600 + 1.4 TC @ 840 mm, tripod with gimbal head, f/9, 1/160, iso 2000, manual exposure. Processed in LR & PS CC. Cropped to 6960x4808. Taken May 30th at 3:01 PM (it was overcast all day, so I thought I’d give afternoon a try though the light is normally not at a good angle).

1 Like

Hi Dennis! What a cutie! I’ve never seen a baby Junco before! Such nice detail in the feathers and eye! I never personally have a problem with busy backgrounds as I think it looks like a natural environment and not like a bird ID book. I think overall it’s a great pose! My only thought is to either show more reflection if possible and if not make it a tighter crop. I might be distracted by the bit of reflection because of your other photos, which I think are so awesome, with the Sparrow and most recent Mourning Dove.

Dennis, another great look at your beautiful, natural setup, with beautiful birds enjoying it. I too have never seen a juvenile Junico, in fact, I’m not sure I have even seen an adult before. This is a fine image, in my opinion. If there was a way to improve it, I think a bit more of your nice pond to provide all of the reflection, as well as allowing us to enjoy your fine setup. If this was mine, I would just be setting and enjoying it, and not be bothered about the composition, but it is your fine image, and you asked for opinions. I am amazed at the nice natural lighting and the details in the bird. Top notch! :+1: :+1:

My first juvenile junco,it is a winter bird here in So Cal, thank you! Beautifully sharp bird details make this so nice. Background clean up looks fine. Comp wise…mmm…as been mentioned, the cropped reflection make it look chopped up and incomplete. The clarity quality of the bird is so exceptional it probably doesn’t need the enlargement; although I do like the look big eyed look here. Would probably enjoy seeing more of the drinking pool. Oh and the watermark might play better on the other side of the frame…maybe too close to the subject and the poor thing seems hemmed in with nowhere to roam. (That’s pretty nitty, don’t you think, but you asked?)

Thanks, @Vanessa_Hill @Shirley_Freeman @Stephen_Stanton . Unfortunately I managed to clip the reflection in the two frames I got of the bird in this location-which made the composition awkward. Your comments confirm my fears and the image is probably not salvageable unless I want to crop all the way to a portrait. Luckily we have LOTS of Juncos and they make plenty of youngsters, so opportunities are abundant.

Enough room for the full reflection is one of the things I’m always forgetting in this situation, but I am trying to do better and the current camera allows changing the focus area on the fly pretty easily.

Dennis, I would definitely keep the image! You have such perfect details in the Junco! I was playing with a crop which would still give him room and even take out a lot of the bg that I know you don’t like. I don’t think you should get rid of it just because of the reflection! Just my opinion…

Nice capture of an unusual subject to many of us. I’d try a crop from the left to remove the FG object in the LL and a subtle gradient burn on the reflection to make it less obvious.

Hey, Dennis. Like the others here, I have never seen a juvenile Junco. As for the image, is it perfect? No, but you have great detail in the bird, and the environment is outstanding. I like it as presented.

Hi Dennis,

Slight blue color cast from the shadowed lighting. I think if the bird gives you a second chance, get the reflection too. Overall nice and sharp with a nice head turn. Well done…Jim

I’m with Terry on this one except maybe some work on lower left corner as Dianne suggests. Having seen juvenile juncos, I am curious about the dark black spot on its side. Haven’t seen that before.