Roller Bird + Option

As we came around the bend in the road, we noticed this Roller perched in a sunlit patch atop a termite mound. It stayed longe enough to get off a few shots. Cropped to about 80% of original.

What technical feedback would you like if any?

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

Any pertinent technical details: Nikon D-500 and 80-400 lens at 1/640, f/6.3 and ISO 360.

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

Hi Richard,
Really nice of him to strike such a pose in the patch of sun. I really like this. Nice background and exposure on the bird. I like the composition and that the perch of dirt is a termite mound. The small trees to the right don’t bother me but you could try a version without them just to see - as I like the BG too. Well done!

The lilac rollers are the most beautiful bird in Africa, imo, and this one gave you a great pose. They are often fairly high in trees and hard to get a good shot.
Great colours and light here. Mixed feelings about the right bush - I think it adds interest, though, and is fine, although you might consider darkening the bright green or removing that twig only.

Beautiful, Richard. I really like the play of light in this image. I think the small clump of highlighted leaves in the lower right helps balance the image, but I agree with Allen that other compositions would certainly work here.

Really good job on the exposure. Many people have a tendency to over saturate the rollers but this one looks really good. The light is quite pleasant. Good job on the detail and background. I agree without on about the tree to the right; mainly it would be interesting to see a comparison without the tree.

This is fantastic. The image quality is through the roof–using a low ISO really helped here. I love the light play, the termite mound, and the colors of the bird. I also really like the trees on the right and wouldn’t remove them. My only suggestion would be to try a crop with a little less on the bottom and a little more on top.

Richard, the light here is gorgeous. A nice spotlight on one of the more photogenic African characters.


Thanks all for your comments which are appreciated. For those who wanted a branchless version, I made one using content aware and generous use of the stamp tool. Am certain others could do better as CS is not a strong point.
The crop was solely from the left to get the bird off center.

Thanks for the reposting with the trees gone, Richard. Good job on the removal. Hmmmm, I think I’m leaning toward the original being my favorite as the trees help to anchor the image there. They are both very strong compositions however.

Thanks for reposting. I still prefer the original.

Both comps work for me Richard. Excellent light, and the bird stands out well against the dark background. Nice capture of this iconic bird.