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Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


There is a state park in Longmont, CO that is home to a large number of nesting osprey as well as a few pairs of nesting eagles. The park has numerous ponds which are stocked with fish offering a good food supply for the raptors. These photos show the osprey as it is about to enter the water and later when it has caught its prey. Even at 1/3200 second shutter speed, the osprey was nearly totally submerged in the next frame.

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Technical Details

100-500 lens at various focal lengths. f/8, 1/3200 and Auto ISO set with +.7 exp. comp. In the upper photo, I added some canvas at the bottom of the frame as I was unable to keep up with the bird as it dove. The bottom photo was cropped to about 66% of original size.

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Excellent action in these images Richard. Your focus is great to catch the dive so well. I haven’t been able to keep up with them in the dives. There seems to be some minor editing issues along some edges in the largest version on the dive shot. Great look in the eye with the flight with fish image.

Very cool action, Richard. You mentioned the Osprey being nearly totally submerged in one frame-what frame rate were you using? The bird looks good in both frames and I really like that just before contact pose of the first image.

You’ve captured these moments brilliantly—the decisive moment of the hunt and the success of the catch, all frozen in time with impeccable clarity thanks to your choice of a high shutter speed.

Your framing brings these dynamic scenes to life, from the osprey’s dramatic plunge to its victorious rise with prey in tow. These images are storytelling through the lens, inviting us into the intense world of these raptors with a vividness that’s really engaging.

The contrast between the tranquil water and the explosive action above it also creates a compelling mood, enhancing the emotional impact of each image. This is a wonderful portrayal of nature’s raw drama, showcasing not just your technical skill but also a deep appreciation for these powerful moments. Well captured, Richard.

Ed, Dennis and Don: thank you for your comments, which are appreciated. Dennis: I ws shooting at 12 fps. In retrospect, I should have been at 20 fps.

The diving shot really came out well. You were in great position to get the head in focus. The wing position and extended talons make for a dynamic shot. Excellent view of the Osprey with its prey as well.


Great action and the timing was perfect. The intent look of the Osprey clearly has it laser-focused on its prey. Awesome.

Go with a vertical crop for the diving shot. It may help convey implied speed of this diving osprey. Clean up the areas in the wingtips and the image will work very well to the eye…Jim

The diving shot is great! Excellent timing. I agree with @Jim_Zablotny that a vertical crop might be worth looking at.