Long Bill Dowitcher

Taken in April before the rusty breeding plumage started to appear. A flock of 70 plus were working the pond for a few weeks . I usually see them feeding in small groups of 6-12 or more. This one wandered into the shallows by itself and stuck around for a few shots.

Specific Feedback Requested

Any and all comments appreciated

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
Nikon D7100, Nikkor lens 200-500 at 310, 1/2000 @f8, ISO800, tripod

I like this image a lot. It is really nice that you could isolate a single bird and calm blue water really puts a strong focus on the bird. What really makes the image in my opinion is the reflection. Also the grass in the water and the rings on the water creates a nice tension in the image. Technically it is excellent, great exposure and sharp. The only thing can suggest to consider it the crop, maybe it is a bit to centered but that is a matter of taste. I did an attempt of cropping to offset the bird a bit.

Anyway this is great photo!
Best, Johan

A very pleasing composition with nice individual elements and reflection. Looks like it may have something in its beak. I think you did a really good job on the exposure and detail levels. I like the concentric water rings as part of the composition.

Thanks for your input and comments, @Johan_Lennartsson @David_Schoen, they are much appreciated. @Johan_Lennartsson the off center crop would work, I was trying for the water ripples to be a little more complete on the left side. Seems a little too much blue water on the right and a tad tight on the leftfor me. Maybe a slightly different shooting angle bringing the grass shoots in and keeping the water circles surrounding the subject. Next time I’ll be better prepared for the comp.

1 Like

As soon as I saw this I was struck by the wonderful composition! The inclusion of the ripples is wonderful! This isn’t one to try to force the subject off-center – it is so nicely balanced by the grass and the slightly more prominent ripple on the right. The blue water is such a pleasing setting for the browns in the bird, and the detail in the feathers keeps my attention glued to the image .

My only nit is that it feels like it needs a slight CCW rotation, which I confirmed by downloading and pulling out a guide on the eye. Minus 2 degrees was perfect for both the eye and the ripple.

Hi Stephen
Your photograph of this Dowitcher is vary calming. The concentric circles, grass, reflection and eye contact, balance this photograph nicely. I would not reframe the shot.

Thanks @peter I appreciate your comments. I like the symmetry of the ripples and the positioning of the Dowitcher.