Wet and Wild

Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


I liked the way his recent bath showed off the topknot of this Orange-crowned Warbler. They’re not always apparent, but a good dunking brings them out nicely. This one spent quite a bit of time in my smaller pool, but kept popping out to check for predators. The perch is a piece of dead elderberry branch that I hollowed out to make a drip for the pool.

Specific Feedback

The upper part of the perch was in bright sun and everything else in shadow. Did I balance that out adequately?

Technical Details

Sony A1, FE 200-600 + 1.4 TC @ 840 mm, tripod from blind, f/9, 1/400, iso 4000, manual exposure. Noise reduction with DxO PureRaw 4, Processed in LR & PS CC. Cropped to 6690x4476. Taken at 2:20 p.m. under sunny skies filtered through Douglas Fir foliage.

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Tack-sharp view of this cutie. Birds always look so bedraggled after bathing…love it.
Your bright/shadow balancing looks perfect from here.
Nice image!

Bedraggled for sure! A cool capture with excellent detail! I wonder about just a squeak brighter, if you can hold down the highlight on the perch.

How on earth did you hollow out the branch? Extra points for being that clever!

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HI Diane. Elderberry has a very pithy center in the branches and after they die, it tends to slowly disappear. Unfortunately, by the time it does, the branch is in pretty bad shape structurally. I picked up a set of 24 inch long drill bits from Harbor Freight and I just use a battery powered hand drill and take it slow and easy, starting with the smallest bit and working up to 5/16. I’ll use a lightly larger size at the base for a few inches to make room for the 1/4" irrigation tubing that supplies the water.

Bamboo is easier to drill, but it has a shiny finish and doesn’t look natural for this area.

You should have been a brain surgeon. Good call on the bamboo. Just doesn’t feel somehow quite exactly right for the PNW. :upside_down_face:

Great color and detail, set off nicely against the background.

Love the ragged look Dennis with a rather rare look at the orange crown. I like the diagonal of the perch going through the image. Agree with going a bit brighter. Nice catch of this beauty.

Had another look here and had to play – made the bird brighter with a masked Curves and did a little 50% opacity cloning and minor desat on the BG.

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I like your edits, Diane. I was wondering a bit about the background, particularly the darker areas and you fixed them nicely.