Queen of the sage.

Critique Style Requested: In-depth

The photographer has shared comprehensive information about their intent and creative vision for this image. Please examine the details and offer feedback on how they can most effectively realize their vision.

Self Critique

I like the expression on the doe’s face, as if she is questioning what I was doing. She is standing on the down slope of the hill which can give the impression the horizon is tilted. Not sure about the sky. There is no detail, which I think helps make the pronghorn stand out.

Creative direction

I was just looking for good images which shows the pronghorn well and the habitat around them.

Specific Feedback

Overall composition, the sky, and the shadow on the pronghorn. Too much, just right or not enough.

Technical Details

Canon R5, RF 100-500mm @ 428mm
1/1000 @ F-13 ISO 800 hand held.


Was looking for moose at the Arapahoe National Wildlife Refuge. Moose were absent, but pronghorn were abundant. I was pleased with the various chances we had to photograph one of my favorite North American animals.

Me too, John. This is a fine image and the Pronghorn appears to be extremely healthy overall. Thanks for sharing this wonderful scene… :sunglasses:

You have got a good subject on a higher plane, which makes it look regal, but somehow light is not very supportive. You may try to add some saturation to boost the colors.

Aww, what a sweet girl. These guys are my nemesis, every time I even get a glimpse of one, zoom - gone.

I know sagebrush is pretty low key in color, but I agree some saturation could work here as suggested, but I wouldn’t go too nuts. She does look regal and as if she’s judging you pretty harshly, lowly human. :laughing:

Conversely, you could do a dramatic B&W version, too. I bet it would hold up really well. If you do make changes and have a second edit, you can add that to your original post by clicking the pencil (edit) icon. This allows us to compare both photos in the viewer one after the other. You can also edit the title with something like + 1 Rework or similar to alert the group that you have done it.

Oh and Site Tip - you can reply to multiple people in one post by highlighting any text in their reply and using the Quote function. Another way is to use the @ symbol and choose the person in the list that comes up. Use the tab key to automatically select and fill the name in your reply. Hope that made sense!

Hi John,

I really like the pose and the environment! I don’t mind not seeing any clouds in the sky, what you have here is great to me!

The eye contact is perfect and I like the title , too.

Sometimes when reducing the exposure or brightness in post processing where the subject was shot in direct sunlight, it appears as though a dark filter was used and it somehow doesn’t look completely natural, that seems to be the case here, however, it is the right thing to do IMHO.
To bring it back to a more natural look (offsetting the dark filter look) I feel that it needs to be taken a step further by adding a bit of contrast and some saturation globally.
I totally agree with lowering the exposure or brightness to minimize the harsh direct sunlight look.

I may never get the chance to photograph a pronghorn myself since I live on the east coast so being able to view your image is a great alternative! :smiley:

Well done!

…And I hope you get the chance to get a few shots of Moose as you had hoped for!

I too love Pronghorns and the Arapaho NWR, and this is a very nice image of this female. I agree that a bit more saturation would be in order. But I think the shadow makes it real. The intense light of Colorado produces shadows. No getting around it.