Wood Stork Fishing

What is the image about, what does it mean to you, and what motivated you to make it?

This Wood Stork was fishing at Huntington Beach State Park, Murrells Inlet, SC when I was down there a week and a half ago. I liked that I got him eyeing me over while going about his business catching his dinner on low tide. I wish the reflections had turned out better. It was taken at 4:25 pm, but that was when the tide was low for them to fish. Shortly after that they were done.

Equipment information:

Canon 7D Mark II, Canon 100-400mm L lens at 220mm with a Hoya CPL filter on.

Camera settings:

1/800, f6.3, ISO 125

What specific feedback would you like?

Do you like the composition? Not too centered is it? I think I have the exposure and detail pretty good, and I had to straighten it slightly, as I recall. If you see anything else that might improve the image, I appreciate it.

The composition looks fine to me, Shirley, and you have good detail in the whites as well as the head, which is great, especially for that time of day. I think the reflection is more a factor of wave action than anything, but given the ripples, it’s just not a major element of the image, and that’s not a bad thing to me. I like the hints of background vegetation reflected in the water.

Well done.

Shirley, I like the image pretty much as is. You might look at backing off the highlights a tad (not a lot) as well as pulling back the same amount on the shadows. Actually pull both back until you get a clip notice. Then move them forward until the clipping icons disappear. As far as placement goes, you are fine where you are.

Shirley: Overall l think this looks quite nice. Whites are a bit hot and I’m guessing there’s more detail in there than is showing. Do you have any more room at the bottom. Since the reflection is there I would like to see all of it, not having it merge with the bottom edge of the frame.

Thank you, Dennis, Phil and Keith for viewing and commenting. I have no more room at the bottom, once I straightened the image.

Shirley: I too think the positioning of the stork in the frame is fine. The graded reflections in the back and that of the stork enhance the image. I also like it the stork is kind of facing you. The whites look a little over exposed in that I cannot see too many details in the feathers in the back (they may be ok technically), so it may be worth reducing the exposure either selectively on the whites or on the overall image.

Well composed with good color and detail especially in the white plumage. I like the pose. Overall a very pleasing image.

Shirley, this looks to me like it’s not too centered. You don’t mention exposure value, but it may be worthwhile trying 1/3 stop under. Also, since you were at 220mm I’m wondering if you could have maybe given the reflection a bit more breathing room as an option, just my 2 cents.

I agree with most of what has already been said Shirley. I too like the composition and don’t have any issue with it. As far as the whites are concerned, I see detail, so I think you can pull more out of them. One question I have is what time of day was this taken? Asking because the light feels a bit flat. I don’t usually use a CPL filter for birds or wildlife in general, so not sure that is a contributor, that is why I am asking about time of day.

Thank you, to all who have given wonderful feedback on this image. No, Bill, I was too framed in on him, and wound up having to straighten the image just a tad, which took some of the reflections away at the bottom. With Avian and wildlife, too close is usually not our problem, so have to think about leaving a bit of room in case I need to straighten or fix my composition in some way. Kurt, to answer your question, it was at 4:25 pm on August 23rd, while the tide was coming in, but the light wasn’t sweet yet. There was a bit of a feeding frenzy while the tide was low, and then the birds left. I put the CPL on earlier because I was shooting in harsher daylight, and around water, so thought that it might help. I forgot to take it off by then. So do you think the whites would have shown better without the polarizer on in that kind of light?

A very nice look at this Wood Stork, Shirley. I think the composition works just fine. I prefer the tighter view over the full reflection. I like the reflected grasses in the background. I do think you are just a tad bit hot on the whites on the back. Selectively bringing them down may give you a tad bit more detail. This is very nice as posted!!!