Red-tailed Hawk Balancing Act

I think David and I clicked our shutters almost simultaneously on this one. I had 600 mm to his 500 and I cropped a bit further. I decided that the branches didn’t do any harm to this image, so I left them there.

What technical feedback would you like if any?

Do the branches in front of the bird bother you? Is the bright spot on the tail too much of a distraction?

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

How’s the composition?

Any pertinent technical details:

7DII, Sigma 150-600 C @ 600 mm, hand held, f/6.3 (accidentally moved the dial), 1/2500, iso 800, manual exposure. Processed in LR & PS CC. Luminosity masks and adjustments on the hawk as a whole and local adjustments in both PS and LR to get the tonal variation where I wanted it. Cropped to 14.6 MP. Taken Wednesday at 11:48 am.

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

Excellent exposure and detail. Good job on the eyes. Good time to practice cloning if you wish. But ok without. This is their environment.

Lost power here at 4am. 5 inches on the deck.
Generator running and internet connection good to go.

Hi Dennis, love the pose and the eye contact we get with the bird. The wing position is great.

Hello, Dennis ! The bird looks very intently at the viewer, which is great. As far as the branches, I do not really mind them, though without them the image would be even more appealing. That said, this is how we get to see them, and they’re for sure not distracting. Nice one! Cheers, Hans

I don’t do avian shots, Dennis, so am not the best person to comment, but here’s my 2 cents worth anyway. I love the bird capture, am not really bothered by the brightness on the tail but might just have gone for removing the 5 protruding branches at the bottom ( I’m not generally one for cloning and the other branches are fine but those do distract a little ).

I also would clone out the branches at the bottom of the frame… Pose is nice…