Neighborhood watch

Thought I saw a hawk land up the street from my house as I was returning from taking some pictures with my wife, and her parting words were “try not to take all day”.

After being unable to find the hawk, having a stare down with a coyote, I opted to take a detour through a strip of forest that runs parallel to my street and through a provincial park.

As I was about to round onto a trail to head home, I saw not 1 but 2 eagles in a tree.

While I did get a few shots of both, one took off before I could navigate knee deep swampland in running shoes.

Specific Feedback Requested

Any feedback would be appreciated.

That said would going to a higher apeture help increase detail on the head?

Technical Details

Nikon z6ii
200-500mm F/5.6 @ 500
1/640 sec @ 5.6 ISO 100

Kristian, great image and a fun story too.

HI Kristian. You have nice detail in the Eagle, though the whites of the head appear to be overexposed-a chronic problem with this species. I tend to set my exposure for the whites and then adjust the rest of the bird as needed in processing. I also think this image would work a bit better if you had the entire bird and if it were to the left side of the frame rather than the right. As it is posted, the bird is facing the edge of the frame which tends to make it feel crowded. Thanks for posting and I look forward to seeing more of your work here.

Super colors and closeness here. I echo the advice Dennis gave - positioning the bird farther to the left so the gaze falls mostly inside the image is important with bird and wildlife photography. Like this it feels crowded. Also cutting off the tail is a big ‘doh!’ headslapper! I know it happens sometimes in the moment of excitement, but one of the biggest concepts that has helped my bird photography is to think like a photographer not a birder. This a birder photo for sure. Just proof you saw it and you got the picture; not showcasing artistic ideals.

When you get close you can see some chromatic aberration going on - a little fringing that is noticeable on the bird’s head. White against blue shows it up well. You could correct for that in most RAW editors under Lens Correction. The blue channel is a bit cranked to me as well, bringing that down might improve the realism in the shot. The whites look a touch cyan as well so warming the white balance is something to try.

Taming the whites is going to be harder because it looks as if they are clipped so that there is no detail or information left in those pixels. Lowering the exposure slightly will help for next time, but don’t go so far that the whites turn gray. That’s what will get the detail on the head if our focus is on target. And it looks like it was - I can see the nictitating eyelid ½ way across the eye. Fun catch. Keep on trying and posting! I’m not an expert bird photographer, but the advice here has helped me improve quite a lot.

I like the clarity of the bird , the colours and the light. As signaled by others , the positioning of the bird to the lower right, combined with the cut off of the lower part is a bit unfortunate The busy background of branches detracts as well. But you can solve all these problems with a really tight crop making it a strong portrait without impact of the environment Should you run out of pixels for such a crop you can use either Lightroom Super Resolution or Topaz Gigapixel.