Learning to fly

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What technical feedback would you like if any?

Any feedback appreciated.

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

Unsure at the amount of sky /white space to balance action with details.

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

(If backgrounds have been removed, etc. please be honest with your techniques to help others learn)
Nikon D500, Nikon 200-500mm 5.6 lens, 1/1600 sec, f5.6, iso 280, 500 mm.
Cropped about 25%, and noise cleaned up with topaz AI Clear.

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Ej.jewett

You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.

I like the pose and the nice sharp look at the head and eye. I think I might have cropped this so the bird was more to the right with more space in front of it. I’m also wondering if there is a blue cast to the bird.

I like the dynamic pose of the bird. Not a typical flight shot and it works nicely. I’m with @Allen_Brooks about the crop. I think I’d want more room in front of the bird and less behind.

When I look at the larger image, there are some clear blue halos around the wing (especially the birds right wing on top). Don’t know what processing was done on the sky, but some artifacts are evident. The feet/legs also have a very different coloration that would be expected with the light on the rest of the bird.

Thank you @Allen_Brooks @Keith_Bauer!
I totally agree. And I had a version that was cropped and the halo subdued. But I downloaded the file from my iPad and it went without the LR edits. I have reloaded the file (4.3 mb vs 619kb).
I don’t know how to shoot up into the sky and NOT get the halo. I have tried toning down contrast, vibrance and saturation, but still get a bit of the blue halo or a white glow.

Allen, I appreciate the comments. Could the blue cast might be because the osprey is hovering over the water - on a very bright and sunny day?
I mentioned that I had cropped it by @ 25% - but this image is one that is un-cropped. Will reload.

That’s been my experience, reflected blue water has given me a blue cast at times. I don’t know about Nikon, but my Canon seems to give a cooler color at times and leaves a blue cast I need to remove.

Hi EJ: The halos in your repost are far less prevalent than in the original. They look like sharpening halos to me, rather than some artifact from tonal changes in the sky / bird. How much sharpening was applied?

I basically use LR - and do Clarity vs Sharpening to the image; in Topaz Studio app, I use the AI Clear vs AI Sharpen. I do not use it heavy handily - just try to reduce the “noise”.

Great pose, EJ. I agree with the others on the halo and composition. I’m not sure what causes the large darker blue area around the bird. It would be interesting to see the original raw file just converted to jpg without any other processing. I don’t know how to do it in Topaz or LR, but in PS, you could pretty easily select all the sky and just change it to a uniform color.

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I am in agreement with everyone about this. I like the actions and clarity. Halos typically show up in high contrast areas or when the highlights are dropped and the shadows are increased. But there are ways to avoid them with good exposure technique.

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