This photo was taken one Winter morning as a heron searched for fish in the pond.
F6.3, 1/2000s, ISO200
I love the overall theme and feel of the image, a bird behind some bushes/plants in the wild and the tone of green looks natural and vibrant. I also find the birds pose and position very interesting, really getting that portrait shot with it
The bird is in perfect focus even though there are many distractions around the subject. Focusing gets especially challenging when shooting at longer focal lengths as you are in this situation so nice job!
Although the green colour looks very good and natural in the picture, there is an overwhelming amount of it and if you look close, even the bird looks a bit green so the picture has an almost “swampy” look, and not in a good way.
The picture could really use a lift and/or difference between the top and bottom half, between the foreground and background to be more specific, this could be achieved by changing the tone of the greens. If that was achieved, as I've tried to do below, it would add more dimension to the picture, differentiating the closer from the farther objects.
The first thing you notice in this picture is the amount of space the foreground takes up - It takes up about 65% of the frame and it really doesn’t add anything special to the overall image. Looking at the background, it isn’t anything special either, so there are 2 other options that could have made this photograph better.
Option 1 - Zooming in a bit more on the bird and closing the negative space around it. My guess is that you were zoomed in to the maximum focal length so you couldn’t physically get a tighter shot.
Option 2 - Cropping after taking the photo. Looking at the picture I see that it is taken on a digital camera and not a smartphone so the resolution and overall quality of the image is much higher which allows you to crop in really close without losing a significant amount of image quality.
Rather than keeping the bird in the centre of the frame, a good alternative would be placing the bird to the left of the frame and using its beak as a pointer in the opposite direction and really using that negative space to your advantage. This can also be done afterwards in post-processing but it would’ve been much better if it was done while taking the picture so you could have more space to play around with.
Overall, a really solid image, definitely has stuff to work on, but it also has things that are outstanding about it.
Next time when you’re out taking photos, try to frame the shot to make it easier for yourself to crop later if you don’t have a longer lens with you.
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