Song Sparrow and re-post

Critique Style Requested: Standard

The photographer is looking for generalized feedback about the aesthetic and technical qualities of their image.


I like the pose and the open beak. I like the clean, complementary background. I like the changes in the leaves indicating fall, but wonder if some should be removed, such as the ones coming in from the left and the dark one at the bottom. Though perhaps the leaves on the left give some diagonal balance. Yes, the tail is cut off, but it was obscured by some black seed pods that were not photogenic.

Specific Feedback

As above.

Technical Details

Canon R5; 100-500 with 1.4 Tx at 700 mm; 1/1250 at f10; ISO 2000

A lovely frame, Allen. The cut-off tail isn’t a big issue with me. After looking at this long and hard, I think you could safely remove that whole clump of leaves coming in from the bottom left, but I’d keep the upper ones as they do add balance to the image. Excellent detail in the sparrow.

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Hi Allen
I love everything, but the chopped off tail.

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I really like the leaf colors and setting around the bird Allen. I also like the sharpness and great eye contact with he subject. I’m just having a tough time with the tail being cropped off the frame.

Another vote for the tail being an issue – lovely as the setting is, the composition feels too unbalanced. It seems a small thing, but if the whole tail was visible it would be less of an issue. I wonder if a considerable tighter crop from the top, bottom and left would make the composition more balanced. The sharpness and detail are good so I think the image would hold up to it well.

Had to have a look. I hated to lose your very nice frame, but you can see the idea. I would clone out the lighter leaf at the top in this case.

Thanks for your comments and input, @Dennis_Plank , @peter, @Diane_Miller , and @Kurt_Bowman . Here’s a re-post with the tail in all its glory. The black on the tail are (I think) seed pods in front of it. I cloned out the material around the tail. I wanted to keep as much of the foliage as possible, but removed the bright leaf above the sparrow and the dark leaf in the lower left corner.

Well now that is a delight! Great framing and it has a whole tail! I really like the perky attitude and the light in the eyes. To me it seems a trifle warm and like the mid-tones could use a lift, but that might not be how everyone sees it. Super little creature and a really terrific seasonal shot.

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OK!! That works very well! I think the balance or arrangement of leaves now works well, too! Midtones look OK to me but it never hurts to fiddle around, if you haven’t.

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@_Kris : The Pacific NW tends to have a lot of slight color variations in common birds. This is one of them, so that’s probably why it looks warm.

Great job on the repost, Allen.

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Hi Allen, love the repost which is framed beautifully. Nice that the bird is angled toward us with a good view of the eye. Well done.

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Hi Allen, lovely bird in a great setting and nice colors. The tail is the issue, as it both influences the subject as the composition. Therefor I like the repost much better. Cheers, Hans

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The tail version is much improved. The leaves add something to the comp and removing them may not be necessary…Jim

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