Where is that Stupid Groundhog?

Critique Style Requested: Initial Reaction

Please share your immediate response to the image before reading the photographer’s intent (obscured text below) or other comments. The photographer seeks a genuinely unbiased first impression.

Questions to guide your feedback

I hope that you get a smile or laugh when seeing this photo. Do the eyes contribute to the story? Does weather influence our photography in more ways than one?

Other Information

Please leave your feedback before viewing the blurred information below, once you have replied, click to reveal the text and see if your assessment aligns with the photographer. Remember, this if for their benefit to learn what your unbiased reaction is.

Image Description

This sandhill was giving me the royal stink-eye as a wet cold snow fell around us. Groundhog day is the harbinger of the Spring season and a large burrowing rodent is best to blame for an early spring snowstorm in Michigan. It was so dark that morning, I was forced to open up the aperture and was able to get both eyes and the forehead of the crane in sharp focus.

Technical Details

Z9 600mm f4 +1.4x Teleconverter (1/1600 sec at f7.1, ISO 1600) Topaz DeNoise Ai, Levels, Shadows & Highlights, Brightness & Contrast, crop for comp.

Specific Feedback

I was hoping to get the bird to look straight towards me which would have been more dramatic for sure. What do you think?
Thank you for looking…

Made me laugh, Jim. The head on look with an eye on either edge always seems comical to me and the slight curve to the neck seems to add to the feel.

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Hi Jim, the straight on look of birds is usually pretty funny to me and this is a good rendition of that. The eyes do add a lot in this image and seem to be staring me down. I also like the falling snow which adds another element of interest.

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"Hi! “My name’s Rodney.” “I told them, all of them, it was too early to leave.” “I just don’t get no respect!”

It made me laugh too, Jim. I love face on shots, and this is no exception. Nice portrait.

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Yeah I feel the pain. Heard a sandy the other day and boom - a foot of new snow! Sucks to be you, crane. Quite an engaging close up. Love the snow bits flying around. Something I know intimately from my struggle to deal with it today.

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Hi Jim
I learn something every time I open up this sight. Thank you Jim. I like the framing and overall composition.

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Initial reaction: Cute! Cool! Fun! And wonderful on a serious level! I love the flying snow and I think it adds an important bit of action to the scene. From the bits of snow on the bird, it looks like he shook it off rather than that it was falling. The slightly angled look adds a bit of dynamics.

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My first impression was “what a great image.” I like the intimate feel of the stare and those eyes really pop. The red forehead also looks great. The snow is a nice bonus and gives some environmental feel to the image.

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My initial reaction in jealousy! I love Sandhill Cranes and have never been able to get this close, even with a massive crop. I love this image. Love the snow, love the eyes, love the feathers on the neck.

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