Pied Billed Grebe & Repost

A Grebe in display. Taken a couple of weeks ago in Southwest Washington. I darkened the background to make the head stand out against the similarly colored vegetation. I like the water color.

What technical feedback would you like if any?


What artistic feedback would you like if any?


Any pertinent technical details:

Iso-125, 200-500 at 500 mm, F8, 320th, handheld bracing on a beanbag in a car window, 80% full frame, D 500, Adobe camera raw 11, Topaz adjust, TK sharpening action at 10%

Here is a repost after suggested improvements…

You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.

Bird is very sharp where it counts, and I also like the brown and green colors in the water. You’ve caught a dynamic pose, and your slowish SS resulted in a very pleasing wing blur. It looks like the head has been brightened or dodged or something. If that is the case, I’d back off on it. It also looks like there is a halo around parts of the head from brightening it (or perhaps that was the original brightness level of the water; if so, I’d darken it as well). In a perfect world, a lower angle would have been nice, but I have no idea if that was possible at that location. Finally, I’d remove the blue color from the water. A couple easy fixes, which I think could take this photo to another level!

Very good, David. The pose is excellent and I like the slightly blurred wing. Since you mentioned darkening the background behind the head I looked closely at that area. I did see a few areas where the selection didn’t look quite perfect and there’s a slightly brighter fringe along the bird. It should be a very simple fix, particularly if you have the bird on a separate layer.

Edits look great to my eye!

Repost did it, David.

Nice moment of action, placement of bird, and colors of water work well with the bird.