Pileated woodpecker

Managed to catch this pileated woodpecker in a dive. Usually they are in dense woodland with messy backgrounds. I wasn’t sure wether to leave the branch in or clone/crop it.

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Is this a composite: No

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Cool capture with the Pileated just coming off the tree. I would definitely leave the branch as it gives context. The upper right corner could be cloned out and a couple of minor twigs on the branch. The image looks dark and the sky feels a bit muddy. I wondered what it would look like with a bit more brightness in the sky (there’s no detail there anyway) and more detail in the plumage. Here’s a version with those suggestions.

I like @Keith_Bauer’s suggestions. I wonder about also lightening the branch a little, to make it more secondary to the bird and reduce a bit the tendency for eye bounce between them.

Excellent catch, Eduard. Nicely done.

You must have been reacting pretty quickly - wonderful result. Agree with the ‘muddy’ sky and would go for Keith’s suggestion. You may even consider a bit of extra canvas left and below, for composition’s sake - but that’s a personal preference. Cheers, Hans