Osprey Hunting at Jackson Lake Dam, Tetons and REWORK


Critique Style Requested: Standard

The photographer is looking for generalized feedback about the aesthetic and technical qualities of their image.


We were on a long weekend trip in the Tetons and looking at ducks in the wetlands below the dam. This osprey appeared suddenly and dove to get this fish right in front of us. Then it flew around in the same area for a few minutes and I got a number of good shots - except for the light.

Specific Feedback

It was the middle of the day, very harsh light. These look crunchy to me - my husband came up behind me and said they looked too sharp, or something, he couldn’t specify what it was. Is there a way to make these less harsh-looking?

Technical Details

Fuji X-H2S, 1/3200s, f/8, ISO 1000, 600mm (auto ISO, handheld)

I imported from RAW with DXO PureRaw and processed in Lightroom Classic as I normally would. I did try to get the highlights down, but wasn’t that successful in processing these so far.

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these look great Denise, considering the light. Not sure, you’ve probably already tried it, but you could try dialing back the highlights and the whites in the RAW files a bit more. Looks like you did a good job with the shadows. Great freeze frame action in both of these, and no, I don’t think they look too sharp/crunchy, just very bright.

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Hi Debbie
You did catch any breaks with the high sun angle. Maybe you could work on reducing the highlights and dropping the overall exposure some. The action is very nice and the second frame handled the lighting better.

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Hi Debbie. Nice catch on the Osprey, despite the light. In the first image, I can just see a faint hint of detail in the top of the head, so you might use the local adjustment brush in LR or ACR to pull the highlights down there a little. The whites in the second image look fine. To my eye, these look like you might have gone just a bit overboard raising the shadows. Very nice action in both images.

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Very nice catch – an Osprey with a whole fish is a good catch. They usually head for a tree and bite off the head then bring the body back to the nest. I prefer the second pose with the head more visible and the very nice wing position…

They do look like the processing might be a small notch improved, but you don’t say what was done.

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Thank you all, I’ll try another pass at #2 with more attention to the highlights and shadows.

Nice poses from these guys.
The whole fish is a bonus

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I’m impressed you were able to capture this with the Osprey coming towards you. In processing, I wonder if the eye could be brightened a bit?

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Hi Debbie, looks to me you handled the harsh light pretty well even though I agree with Dennis in bringing down the whites on the bird’s head in the first image. I like the poses on both. Is that a trout? - cool catch for both of you.

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I reworked the second image, pretty subtle but I like the differences. I tried starting from scratch but eventually just wound up working on the same image in PS by reducing levels, burning the white head feathers, and cleaning up around the edges. I also cleaned up the eye a bit.

Nice job on the redo, Debbie.

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@Dennis_Plank Thanks! I appreciate all the comments.