The landing (series) Repost

Burned the bright spot on the right side of the head as the viewer sees it and brought the exposure up just a smidgen overall.

Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


This is a short series of a juvenile falcon coming in to land on their favorite perch. The perch is some sort of branch that was put there many years ago by either a photographer or one of the many locals that come to see these birds do amazing things every year. The location is a vertical cliff face with the ocean directly below. Much of the cliff face is in shadow until about 10:30 am so you have extreme brightness on the birds above the rim of the cliff face with a very dark cliff face for a background. They can make for dramatic images but are very tough to expose for. I find that aperture priority is rather useless in these scenarios and so manual exposure is the way to go which is relatively easy. Just dial in the exposure on a bird in the light and let the dark background fall where it may. You can always thumb roll your shutter speed while the birds are in flight if they go into and out of the dark background but that is really challenging and only rarely do I find myself getting a great exposure. These were all processed on different days months ago and so they look like slightly different in white balance which is fairly cool on all of them.
This one juvenile had just met up with dad and they did an in air food exchange right before she came back to the perch. This series shows the headless prey in all three photos. Thanks for taking a look and offering up any helpful suggestions.

Specific Feedback

I’m curious about the white balance. I think they may be too cool as these young falcons are pretty orange particularly when lit by the early morning sun so I tend to cool them off but I may have gone too far. The background has a blueish tone to as well. I suppose I could select just the background and warm it selectively. Anyway, let me know your thoughts on this and anything else you come up with. You guys really helped me out on my last post.

Technical Details

Z9, 800mm lens, ISO 1000, f/6.3, 1/2500th, hand held, manual exposure for all three images.


These are nice and sharp and the lighting looks very good. Your white balance is fine too. An enjoyable series to examine and the first two are favorites in the series due to the eye being visible in both frames. Awesome…Jim

These are beautiful.

The white balance looks fine to me. I don’t think there is a “correct” white balance. You could warm them up if you wanted to but I like them as is.

Nice set David! Love the young falcon with pretty. The first is probably my favorite with the wings spread and open beak, but still all nice. I also think the WB looks fine. Great work!

Great set of landing shots, David. Well done.

An awesome little series, David. the white balance looks pretty consistent through the series to my eyes and seems fine to me,but I have zero experience with this species. While I do like the first image best,as a series, I think reverse order would work better since we like to see things chronologically.

All great shots. The first is my favorite, not only for the pose, but for the perch and other foreground elements. The dark background works well here. My only thought would be to darken (in the first image) the feathers to left (viewers right) of the head-they tend to draw my eye. A small nit for what I suspect could be an award winning image. Great job.

Hi David, wonderful series with fine exposure and color. Love the expression in the first shot with open beak, spread wings, fanned tail, and clutching prey. Wow! Well done.

WOW!! Incredible sharpness and detail in wonderful poses – a fantastic series! The WB looks absolutely fine to me!

Thanks very much for taking a look at this set @Jim_Zablotny, @Don_Peters, @Kurt_Bowman, @David_Bostock, @Dennis_Plank, @Allen_Brooks, @Allen_Sparks, @Diane_Miller.
I’m glad you enjoyed this short series.
It seems that the white balance is acceptable so I won’t worry about that anymore.
Allen, I’ll repost with that bright spot taken care of. Thanks for the help.
Thanks again for taking the time to comment everyone.

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