Woody in the Rain /w revision

Revised based on @Keith_Bauer 's suggestions…

Original post:

Image Description

Last May I took my grandson to one of the wildlife refuges in the Skagit river delta area. It had just started to rain and we were headed back to the car and this young female Pileated Woodpecker decided to join us.

Type of Critique Requested

  • Aesthetic: Feedback on the overall visual appeal of the image, including its color, lighting, cropping, and composition.

  • Technical: Feedback on the technical aspects of the image, such as exposure, color, focus and reproduction of colors and details, post-processing, and print quality.

Specific Feedback and Self-Critique

I haven’t done much with this image, and not sure if the background needs some work. All comments welcome and appreciated.

Technical Details

Nikon D850, Sigma 150-600 at 600mm, F6.3, 1/2000 second, hand held

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Hi @Steve_Kennedy

Aesthetic : I like the image. A nice look at the woodpecker with no real distractions.

Technical: I think the image is pretty flat as presented, the plumage should be closer to black and the whites could be whiter.

Here’s a version with a couple modifications:
Set a black point based off of plumage behind the eye
Slightly darkened the background
Dodged around the eye to add more light
Dodged the whites on the head just a bit
Burned the lower part of the branch to provide more contouring.

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Thank you @Keith_Bauer! I’m a true beginner at avian photography but I’m focusing on it more, and I have a lot to learn. I’ll give your adjustments a try. Thanks again1

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Revised image looks good–better contrast and the blacks provide enhanced contrast…Jim