Osprey in the Hood

I recently bought a new camera and lens, and I went searching for some birds. I live in North Florida. This osprey was circling over one of the ponds in my neighborhood, looking for food. Unfortunately, I never saw him dive for anything. There were no clouds in the sky at all.

Specific Feedback Requested

I tend to crop enough to see the face of the bird or animal, especially when there are no clouds or other interesting composition elements. In this case, 50 - 60% crop. Is that too much?

Is it an interesting photo when it is just the bird in the sky? (It is to me, but how about others?)

Any and all feedback is useful

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
Nikon D500 with Nikon AF-S 300mm PF
1/1600 at f/8

I significantly lightened the shadows (underside of the bird) to show more details, and slightly desaturated the blue sky.
Cropped 50 - 60%


Hi Scott
The Osprey has good eye contact and feather detail, bu the color balance is off. ( to blue). I would also open up the crop, just a little.

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Nice wing position and eye contact. There is a strong blue cast. The crop is really tight.

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Hi Bill. I tend to agree with Peter and David on the blue cast, particularly showing in the face of the Osprey. The tight crop can work when there’s a boring sky and with a head on pose like this it can be quite effective. I think what’s keeping this one from quite working is the angle of the light that put the face in shadow. If you can get the light to make those eyes really glow with this kind of flight angle, I think it would work well.

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It looks nice and sharp and a nice incoming or flyby pose. You got quite close so good for you. There would be lots of blue light bouncing around and i think it would really show up on whites.
As far as cropping goes if the image quality is there then large crops are fine. IQ on this one looks good to my eye.
Have fun with your new set up. It looks like a nice hand holdable combo.

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Thanks to all of you for your observations. They are helpful, and give me some things to think about.