Nature's Embrace

Image Description

My wife and I went to the National Eagle Center on the Mississippi River in Wabasha, MN the first weekend in March. Because eagles care about eating, they congregate in areas of open water. I did not go with the expectation of finding eagles to photograph, rather to see what would find me, my attention. Looking across the river near an eagle nest, aerie, I noticed this white tree amidst the darker oaks or whatever they are. Contrast caught me, and then I noticed the curving branches engaged in what appears to be an embrace.

Type of Critique Requested

  • Aesthetic: Feedback on the overall visual appeal of the image, including its color, lighting, cropping, and composition.

  • Conceptual: Feedback on the message and story conveyed by the image.

  • Emotional: Feedback on the emotional impact and artistic value of the image.

  • Technical: Feedback on the technical aspects of the image, such as exposure, color, focus and reproduction of colors and details, post-processing, and print quality.

Specific Feedback and Self-Critique

Any feedback. Shot hand held with long lens I had on in case some eagles cawked, " Take our picture." Did not happen.

Technical Details

Nikon D500, 200-500 mm f5.6 lens at around 220mm.

1 Like

Hi Larry! Contrast is a great thing to grab attention and definitely one of the things to look for especially for Black and White images. I see why you think it looks like an embrace. Technically the image is fine , but I think it’s just a little busy with all the tangle of branches. For B&W particularly, simple always makes a stronger image. I would continue to look for those areas of contrast like this because you will find some amazing shots just using that tool.

Well seen and beautifully rendered. Some people call this controlled chaos. This is one of the most powerful ways to show nature. The branches are tangled but there is clear structure in the order of flow of the branches. The cutoff at the bottom of the frame is just right. The top of the frame could be cropped off a bit and actually cut into the branch tops. The thin white branch at the bottom may be considered a distraction and could be darkened in. Although you could argue that it’s a welcome distraction to an area that is mostly dark. Well done.

This is similar to an image I made a couple of years ago that remains one of my favorites;

The interplay between the main branches makes a statement for sure. I like the balance you’ve achieved to emphasize that and make the other branches less important in the scene. Like good a supporting cast, they make the stars shine. I also think playing with a crop might enhance things even more - maybe 4:5 or similar. Nicely seen. And, sorry about the eagles. It’s a madhouse in the backyard with them this time of year. The adults and two kids that they’re trying to get out of the nest permanently to make way for this year’s crop. Funny.


Great eye to spy and capture this! I pretty much echo all of Igor’s comments. I initially thought a slight crop up top would tighten this up a bit. But for sure, a terrific “order from chaos” image.

Very expressive too as you noted with the reference to an embrace.


Thanks, Lisa for your response. I agree that contrast is the thing here. Yes, the image is busy, but there is order out of chaos. I plan to crop from the top. Thanks again.

HI Igor, thanks for your response. I fully agree with you. I was hoping there was order in this chaos. Your response is reassuring. I plan to crop the top at or near the fork at the top of the white tree. I think the white branch at the bottom helps to move the eye into the main white tree. Thanks, again.

@Kris_Smith @Lon_Overacker thanks for your comments. Kris, you have a great sense of humor as well as a keen eye. I plan to crop the image from the top. I fully agree with y’alls advice. I hope the backyard eagles don’t keep you awake at night. Thanks to you both.