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Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


Had been watching for eagle to eagle or eagle to heron interaction, when a pair of terns took offense to having this eagle too close to their space.

Not sure what I could do differently in this situation. The birds were farther away than I liked, but this behavior demanded I try to get decent images.

Specific Feedback

This image is not as sharp as I would have liked. This was a hand held photo. Maybe if I had the camera set for high speed burst.

Technical Details

Canon R 5, RF 100-500mm 4.5/7.1 L
1/2000 @ f-8 ISO 320 Hand held.

Topaz Photo A1 used to reduce noise and increase sharpness.

Not bad at all considering the circumstances, John. When something like this happens, all you can do is shoot and hope. I do think burst mode is definitely called for in this situation. Though there’s probably nothing else but sky in the image a looser composition would de-emphasize the slight softness.

Hi John,

I don’t know why but this reminds me of how Chihuahuas act like bullies toward much larger dogs, but only as the larger dogs are already walking away, then they run and hide when the larger dogs turns to confront. :open_mouth:

Anyway, this tells the story very well even if the focus isn’t as sharp as you’d like.
The slight softness doesn’t bother me at all and to be honest, it doesn’t appear too soft unless I open it up to the actual size.
Dennis has a good point about using more sky around the birds, that helps with softness because it increases the viewing distance, and it enhances the story in some cases because of the added environment.

Very nice image, especially for the circumstances. :slight_smile:

I think Dennis and Merv said about all there is to say here, John. It’s a terrific behavioral shot, even if it isn’t perfect. I think you did about all you could do. Fun capture.

Hi John
The Story works, I think the Topaz Photo AI fail you. It looks like the AI just removed most of the color detail. It won be interesting to see the raw file.

Excellent interaction shot and the open beak of the tern tells the story, that this isn’t just two birds flying in the same area. I always keep my R5 in high burst mode; the downside of which is a lot of photos to cull and multiple images of still objects; but I’m sure to forget to change it from something else to high speed and miss an opportunity. Not sure it would have made a difference here, though, as the timing seems to be perfect. Great capture.

Hi John, great interaction you have captured. I think 1/2000s is fast enough to freeze the action hand held so the lack of sharpness is likely just due to the crop you had to apply. Still, this is a wonderful moment to have witnessed and caught.

I second @peter! I’d go back to the raw file and get everything dialed in and then try again, but don’t let the software make the decisions for you. If the software allows, tweak NR, and then sharpen a copy layer – veeeery carefully. I do that in PS on layers, with the separate Topaz Denoise and Sharpen plug-ins.

If you’re steady at hand holding, those parameters and that rig should have given a very sharp image. But the element of surprise can throw off steadiness.

I likewise am always in burst mode. I have to remember to switch if off for still shooting, or just deal with the deleting.