Rough-legged Landing

I was fortunate to recently get some captures of a not too common Rough-legged Hawk recently. Caught it mid-landing.

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Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
D500, Nikon 200-500 lens, Nikon 1.4 TC, 1/3200th, f 8.0, hand held, 700mm, ISO 1050, AI Clear, cropped to 1950 x 2221


WOW, Dave. I’ve never had the pleasure of seeing on of these, what a treat. The detail is just amazing.

Excellent image. I like everything about it even the tight framing.

Beautifully frozen - super action shot. The crop looks fine to me, unless you were to add some of the landing perch, which you probably considered.

Nice landing shot. I wonder whether the postprocessing in Topaz took a bit too much of the detail, maybe re-run and tweak the sliders a bit ? Other than that a great moment captured ! Cheers, Hans

Great pose - those talons out are just wonderful. I’m with Hans that the amount of detail seems to have been compromised by something. Probably Topaz. Also, I’d really love to see what it was about to land on. As presented, great pose, but the story is missing a critical piece.

Excellent all the way around. I would not change a thing.

The perch will add context which completes the story for this hawk. Tweak down the cyan slightly in the sky and provide a more generous amount of space around the bird which will give your noise reduction program more pixels to work with. Pose is fantastic and you may want to try David Kingham’s micro-contrast technique to boost up the feather detail ( Well done.

I selected a landing perch put it on there and tweaked the cropping. Whaddaya think now? Better?


I like this crop better than the original and at least there is now context on why the landing pose is in full display. As the title of my article from a year or so back said “Including the Environment, Context Matters”. I fully believe that far too often images, especially Avian, are cropped too tight. I know it is a personal preference, but at least for me, I’m not trying to create ID shots. I’m trying to create images that tell a story.

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Point taken. I am guilty of getting in really close sometimes. I shall rethink my shots more when making cropping decisions. thanks for the input.

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