natural light images | A Hit or A Miss?

A Hit or A Miss?

July 12, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Note: This particular post is easier to understand if you will click on the images to make them bigger to see more detail!


Is it a hit?  Is it a miss?  That's the central question serious photographers ask themselves when looking at images from a shoot.  It is a difficult question as there are instances when the answer is "maybe" ... and, instances when there is no right or wrong answer.  

When I first saw this closeup image appear on my monitor, I was excited at the detail and the soft, smooth background but I thought "My God I hope I've got a better image of this sequence"... I had clipped most of the two wings and positioned it at the very top of the frame.  Clearly the bird photo-police wouldn't be happy with this one! Still, there is something about the image that draws me to it.



My first-look wish came true... there was a technically better image... It had the same degree of detail, and much more of the bird ... including all of the right wing. I had lucked out and gotten a good, closeup shot of this difficult-to-photograph bird. What do you think? Do you like it better than the first?



I thought I did.  

But, as I stared at these two images over the next few days, I came to realize that the first image had some important characteristics missing in the second. I saw three things I really liked about the first image:

  • It does not have the distracting (to me) second line of blue water at the bottom of the image which tends to pull my eye down away from the subject.
  • Though, the entire wing is not shown, the very essence of the bird ... the feathers of that wing are shown nice detail on the underside of the right wing. Those feathers allow that bird to fly!
  • And, most importantly, the birds neck and body have more extension ... conveying the intensity and importance of the moment.

Though others will likely have a different opinion, I judge the first image a hit.

Even after taking and looking at thousands of images, there are still times when it is difficult to decide what does and what doesn't work.


I'll close this post with an image I knew was a hit (for me) from the first moment I saw it on the camera's LCD screen. I like the pink tones in the clouds behind the bird; its fully outstretched wings; and body position. It is clearly one of my favorites from this season's images:


That's it for today.  Thanks, as always, for taking the time to look





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