Lift Off Repost with new edits

I chased this little gut from tree to tree and finally got the wings spread and close to center frame. Not much was done in post some saturation, a slight sharpen, and crop using Luminar 4.

Specific Feedback Requested

Any feed back on composition, edit, technical, etc… would be greatly appreciated. I am not sure about the pose of the bird there is no eye contact in the picture does this take away from the photo as a whole?

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
Canon EOS 90D
Sigma 150-600
1/2000 sec.


Not much I could do about the focus or aperture but I did go back to the raw and try to fix the other issues noted . Please give honest feed back is this edit better worse the same what is wrong with it what could i do to try to make it better.

HI Joseph. With a pose like this you don’t need eye contact, though it would be a bonus. I really like the basic composition. There are a few issues I have with the image. First, the bird is a bit out of focus. It looks as if the focus were on the tree. When shooting small birds in busy locations, it works best to use just one or a few Autofocus points. Canon has the ability to go down to one very small point, but it usually seems to work best to use the center point and four surrounding points unless you’re really trying to focus on a bird buried in brush. Another possible contributor to the softness of the image is the aperture you chose. Like a lot of zoom lenses, this one is not at it’s absolute best when at maximum focal length and minimum aperture. Going to f/7.1 or f/8 usually works better (at least it did for me when I used this as my main lens).

The second issue I see is that the sky seems bluer than I encounter in nature, so I’d back down on the saturation of it. Lastly, and this one is something you’ll probably develop at over a long time, is the presence of all the out of focus background branches. I’m not familiar with Luminar, but I’m guessing it has cloning or “rubber stamp” tools that would allow you to replace those with sky. They’re distinct enough that they distract significantly from the subject.

I hope that doesn’t sound harsh because you caught a great moment and that’s the start of a great photograph.

@Dennis_Plank no I don’t think any of what you had to say is harsh. After looking at the image again with the comments you made I do see what you mean about the blue of the sky and also about the branches. I do appreciate the honest feed back. I have only been at it for a few years and just found this site and am here to try and learn something or rather a lot of things. I will try to fix the issues you have noted and attempt to repost.

You did a good job on the repost, Joseph. The sky looks much more realistic and you removed the offending branches quite cleanly.

@Dennis_Plank thanks for the insight, suggestions, and the kind words.