Western Grebe family with tiny fish fed to young

Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


I photographed these from a boat dock in early morning light but overcast. This was ideal as harsh sun burns out highlights.

Specific Feedback

general feedback

Technical Details

Sony A-1 with 600 mm f4 shot at f4 and 1/2500 sec at ISO 320 and used Topaz Denoise. The birds were moving quite a bit and some wave action.

Critique Template

Use of the template is optional, but it can help spark ideas.

  • Vision and Purpose:
  • Conceptual:
  • Emotional Impact and Mood:
  • Composition:
  • Balance and Visual Weight:
  • Depth and Dimension:
  • Color:
  • Lighting:
  • Processing:
  • Technical:
1 Like

Nice view of all the eyes, and the faces of the chicks. Fine detail as well. I think I’d suggest moving the whole image to the right a bit - feels a little unbalanced to me.
Very nice work!

Western Grebes are fascinating birds and they exhibit some remarkable mating behavior. This is a nice shot with family appeal

Terrific catch of this family moment with great expressions from the chicks. Love seeing the red eyes of the adults too. Wonder about cropping a tad from the bottom. Well done behavioral image.

All kinds of advice on the crop for this one, Larry, so I’ll throw in my two cents for a bit off the bottom and a bit more on the left. The chicks expressions are priceless and really make this image. I think Topaz Denoise tries to sneak in some sharpening as there are a couple of artifacts in the wing and tail of the bird on our right that look like an attempt to sharpen an area that is out of focus. A bit of masking can easily take care of those, though it takes a pixel peeper to notice them.

Wonderful catch is lovely soft light! Definitely the decisive moment! For me, a crop from the bottom to just below your signature achieves good balance. Looks like some uneven sharpening here. I’d let the male go soft as captured. The babies are the center of focus here!