My Wife Doesn't Like It

That same young Sharp-tailed Hawk keeps hanging around the backyard and I happened to catch it changing positions on top of one of the uprights that supports my feeder bar yesterday morning. I thought this was a really cool pose, but my wife thinks it just looks like he’s about to poop. I figured I’d post it anyhow, though she’s usually an excellent critic.

What technical feedback would you like if any?

Anything. I did some lightening of the facial area as it was just slightly shadowed (overcast and showery, but the light was still from the wrong direction). I also painted over a couple of lighter sections of the background and the edge of a stick that I found distracting.

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

Anything. I added just a sliver of canvas to the top and cropped the sides for this composition.

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

7DII, Sigma 150-600 C @ 600 mm, hand held, f/8, i/500, iso 2500, manual exposure. Processed in LR & PS CC Noise reduction using NeatImage. Taken at 8:30 am yesterday under a heavy overcast with thunderstorms.

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Too funny, Dennis! I actually like the pose, it seems more of an action shot than just a hawk perched. Very nice details and colors. There seems like something (maybe a tiny feather) near his beak that you might want to clone out. I am enjoying the perch and the background as well as the vey interesting position you captured him in. Very nice shot. I would be thrilled to have taken it. So glad that they are still hanging around and giving you lots of chances to get these very nice shots. :+1::+1:

I thought about that tuft, Shirley, but decided to leave it-probably for the memory. I’d seen him catch something (not sure if it was a bird or vole as the light was bad) and carry it to the line of trees at the back of the property an hour or so earlier. I’m guessing the tuft is the avian equivalent of the stains I inevitably get on a tie on those very rare occasions when I wear one and eat.

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Dennis, can I camp at your backyard? This is such an excellent image. You’ve got a great perch, a great distance to the background to blur them out, and you have such a cooperative bird. Sharp-shinned and Cooper’s are not the easiest to catch in this kind of clean environment. I think this pose is excellent. I would wager that this is one of those “stretching” moments. I also like the wing blur. Some people prefer to freeze it but I think it makes the image more dynamic. The image quality here is excellent and the tech is good. With this kind of soft light, the dodging and burning and you did produce a very natural-looking image. Print, frame, hang!

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Excellent pose, color, and wing position. Great job on the timing. Background is wonderful. If I were going to suggest anything I would like to see the plumage behind the head and under the wing slightly sharper. It does seem a tad bit blurred but that is to be expected at 1/500 of a second.