Juvenile Reddish Egret

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Sorry folks. I should learn how to post properly.
This is from Sept 2011 in Gulfport. We don’t see many Reddish in MS, but oddly enough the only ones I see here are the juveniles. This is full frame and admittedly cramped. It’s not the best image quality, but I liked that both eyes are visible.
Olympus E-5 ZD300 F2.8 +EC-20, ISO400 1/3200 0.0EV

Wondering if you think I should do a content aware crop to get more room up top and LHS.

I would be thrilled to call this my image, if it were mine, as it is right now, Bill. I don’t have any advice for improvements. You just have to love those eyes!

Impressive color and detail. Excellent DOF and POV. Well done. I like it as cropped but I would also consider a tad more space below the feet. One could certainly use content aware to provide more space all around. As I understand it, the critique area is a place where you can make changes, post the image, and then put the final image in the avian gallery for consideration for the weekly pick.

The image quality doesn’t look bad at all, Bill. It does have a flat feel and a little playing with curves or something similar might give it more pop. A touch more room on top would be nice, I 'm not sure you need to add any on the left, given the pose of the bird. I’m not sure what the darker blotches in the background are, but you might consider removing them as they’re just a bit of a distraction.

It’s interesting that you just seem to get juveniles.

A nice look at this juvie, Bill. I really like that head turn showing both eyes. The composition works pretty well for me, although I think adding a little room at the bottom would give the image a bit more depth. A great image as posted!!!

That you for posting this! I see quite a few reddish egrets when in Florida but have never found a juvenile. I really like the pose. Do agree with the idea of putting a tad more room at the bottom. Doesn’t have to be much and certainly is fine as is.

I like the image as posted and would be happy to have taken it. A little more space would be nice but is not necessary for my enjoyment. I would like to see the two OOF dark spots in the center background reduced.

Juvenile birds are more likely to wander outside of the species’ normal range, and that’s probably why you have only seen juvies in MS. Same thing happens here in AZ - I’ve only seen juvies here.

Thanks for the comments, gang. As to adding more space below, I did try adding at the bottom with content aware, and think it looked pretty good after a little touch-up of the repetition. I’m glad for the input on the habitat for juveniles, and happy to see some of the regulars from NPN here, too. I was looking in my older archives and found that September was when I shot them in the past, so I’ll be looking for them the next few weeks. Thanks again.

Cool pose, Bill. I like the low angle and the light is also interesting - almost like indoor lighting. Certainly having a little more room in the bottom would balance this better.

As a follow-up in response to your comments, here’s a rework that included more room at the bottom and a touch up top, then reframed to 4:5 aspect. Content aware worked pretty well after I touched up some repetitions. Would like to know what you think. Thanks everyone.

Excellent, Bill. That did the trick.