Pacific Loon

Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


This morning on my walk around our local ponds I was able to follow this loon from one side of the pond to the other as it slowly made its way across. It graced me with a nice turn toward the morning sun in this shot. The red eye really caught my attention. I haven’t seen many loons in our area. Later in the morning after going around a second pond, I caught this guy out in the dirt path taking a dirt bath. It made a beeline back to the water as soon as I rounded the corner and pulled up my camera.

Specific Feedback

I selectively worked to keep the whites under control in post processing.

Technical Details

Canon 5DMiii, f8, 1/640 sec, iso 160, 100-400/1.4TC at 560 mm, Cropped to about 60% of original.

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1 Like

Ed I love the serene moment you captured with the loon. The still water and reflection make for a peaceful scene.

The framing is solid, giving the loon space and adding to the sense of calm. The angle, with the loon turning towards the sun, adds interest.

The loon’s red eye and detailed plumage create a strong visual impact. This image really shows the quiet beauty of nature.

Your post-processing on the whites worked well, keeping the details in the feathers intact and natural-looking.

I didn’t know they had loons hanging out in your area(s) Ed. I’m jealous. We just get them out on the ocean in winter. I think someone did a survey and there were either 13 or 17 lakes in Washington with loons, so not a big population.

I like this image. The water is beautiful, the loon is nice and sharp with a great view of the red eye and you handled the high contrast of this bird well. Some of the deepest blacks look blocked, but I’ve never minded that as that’s the way we see the deepest shadows in real life. The blacks and grays in general look beautifully depicted.

really good job here. Other detail is outstanding and good job in the black plumage. Hard to get with such detail. I’ve had one near my home in the Puget Sound in the last 25 years. Very rare here.

A very nice of this Pacific loon. Pretty sharp with good exposure and I was wondering about the extra space on the bottom of the frame. The somewhat darker and more purple tones of the foreground waves add to the composition. I can now see why you pushed the loon up in the frame to get that tiny bit of purple tones at the bottom of the frame. No nits from me. Well done…Jim

Great look at the loon and good job with the whites and blacks-I usually blow out the chest.

Thank you everyone (@Saundie, @Dennis_Plank, @David_Schoen, @Jim_Zablotny, and @Allen_Brooks) for your encouraging comments on this image. This is the first time I’ve seen one in a pond in five years here in Ventura County. I think I’ve seen some out in the open ocean around the Channel Islands from time to time, but from far away and rocking on the boat. I considered this encounter as a rare privilege.

Hi Ed
This is a trailing photograph that works. The eye contact feather detail and reflection and framing are top rate.

Thank you again @peter.