Killdeer on the Genesee & repost in b&w

This past summer on my neighborhood walk along the Genesee River I spotted a Killdeer running around in the water. I climbed up on a dam wall to get closer and have better lighting to photograph this beautiful bird.

Specific Feedback Requested

Any feedback and thoughts always appreciated!

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
Nikon D3400
ISO 400


A nice composition, Vanessa, and I really like the raised wings. The whites look overexposed to me with no detail visible in them. If you post your exposure mode (aperture priority/shutter priority/automatic/manual), it would help with steering you in the right direction to fix that next time.

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I thought I put my settings in the technical details area. But now that you mention it it was morning and the sun was hitting the bird, so I probably needed my lowest iso, which is 100 and maybe a smaller aperture? I always do my own settings the only thing I do auto is the focus (I would never get it right because I don’t have perfect vision!)

IT is a tough shot on any day. Bright light, a bright bird and a bright bg. You did well. I like the pose with the upraised wings I just wish it was facing towards you a bit more and that you had been able to get a bit lower. As Dennis mentioned the whites are blown out. Higher ss would have been a good choice to over come that. Also from a cropping point of view i think I would have cropped up into the log to remove those pesky highlights below the log. They are a very tough bird to get close to so good job.

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Thanks, David! Thanks for the feedback, it helps me to know and to really pay attention to what I’m working with. Like the whole frame. When I am watching an animal that individual is all I really see and just am shooting like crazy! If the animal is hanging around I will check my viewfinder really quick and adjust settings, but never really thought about background much, except mainly just trying to blur it out or get some bokeh, and that’s only when I have time. Wow! Thank you so much, I just really feel like this is another awesome breakthrough for me to slow down even when there’s action.

Hi again, David! What do you think about making it a black and white?

The crop is very nice. You are shooting in raw, I remember, so you should have some leeway to lower the exposure a little and maybe recover some detail in the blown-out whites. Most raw converters give you an additional slider to pull down the brightest tones selectively.

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Thanks! Actually, in this instance I couldn’t believe it, but I shot In jpg! And I didn’t notice for quite a few days! I don’t even know what I did to change the settings! Aaugh!

The b/w sort of works Vanessa. Diane covered a couple good points. I think the important take away is that good photographs are best captured in the camera. It is hard and prone to mistake and takes practice. I find it a continuing challenge. Your enthusiasm is contagious.

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Yeah, I totally agree that it has to come out of the camera! That’s what Joel Sartore says! I know I have a long way to go, I also really have to get better at culling and not being so attached to my experiences behind the photos!

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