Saker Falcon (for a competition)

Started Aug 30, 2012 | Discussions
BorisGil Junior Member • Posts: 42
Saker Falcon (for a competition)
1

I'm preparing this photo for an amateur photography competition, and am very much in need of constructive criticism. Thanks!

corneaboy
corneaboy Contributing Member • Posts: 565
Re: Saker Falcon (for a competition)

Nice photo but I'm afraid it looks like it was shot in a studio.

krob78 Regular Member • Posts: 175
Re: Saker Falcon (for a competition)

You've gotta have his feet in the photo... Absolute must...

Good luck!

OP BorisGil Junior Member • Posts: 42
Re: Saker Falcon (for a competition)

Hm, I was in fact trying to give it a Studio Harcourt portrait look, didn't think it was a minus.

The legs - I will give it a try. But why is it a must? There are many wildlife photos with just a part of the animal being in the frame.
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dock
dock Veteran Member • Posts: 5,243
Re: Saker Falcon (for a competition)

Any contest is more of who the judges are and their likes.

ABA DABA Veteran Member • Posts: 3,088
Re: Saker Falcon (for a competition)

Well well Dock, I see you are also familiar with the secret,if you want to win a competition, "shoot for the Judge/Judges "
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ABA DABA

stef Regular Member • Posts: 411
Re: Saker Falcon (for a competition)

I like it quite a lot.

One of the things that I try and do in photographing birds Is to try and capture a quality that is perhaps hard to define exactly but, a quality that shows some sort of individual personality of that animal. Some kind of emotional content for that particular individual.

I would just do the portrait and leave the legs out if that image would further the connection that the viewer would make with the bird as an individual personality. You can see full body images which are great but they are just like all the other full body images in that they are more of a cataloging instead of wildlife photo art.

Just my two cents. I think that you captured some personality here and it works for me. It is a subtle quality and not everyone will appreciate it.

OP BorisGil Junior Member • Posts: 42
Re: Saker Falcon (for a competition)

Thanks, stef, was glad to hear the image worked for you.

Here's the full body version - what do you think, guys?

FRGorga Contributing Member • Posts: 604
Re: Saker Falcon (for a competition)

The first framing is fine by me... the "missing feet" looks intentional.

I do think that you can improve this image two ways...

1) There is more detail in the highlights (especially on the neck and upper breast) that can be brought out with the highlights slider of the shadow/highlights tool in Photoshop.

2) The background is a bit noisy and could (should?) be cleaned up.

As far as judges go... shoot for yourself (not the judges) and remember that a judges opinion is only that a single opinion... nothing more, nothing less.

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corneaboy
corneaboy Contributing Member • Posts: 565
Re: Saker Falcon (for a competition)

I like it much better with the full body. Personlly I would crop off a little more of the dead space, but thats a matter of taste.

It is not kissing up to the judges when you are merely trying to determine what it is that they are looking for in the contest categories.

stef Regular Member • Posts: 411
Re: Saker Falcon (for a competition)

I like the cropped version better because:

The feet and lower portion of the original don't add much, it is pretty dark.

The cropped version has the eye level and those wonderful heart shaped feather patterns at the most pleasing and prominent areas of the image.

The whole image is brightened up by leaving out the darker lowest portion.

However the original is wonderful too. I think the dark background works well.

OP BorisGil Junior Member • Posts: 42
Re: Saker Falcon (for a competition)

Thanks for the replies, guys - very helpful.
I'll let you know if anything comes out of it.
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krob78 Regular Member • Posts: 175
Re: Saker Falcon (for a competition)

I love both! If I was entering this one, I'd have a hard time deciding which pose to submit... I love seeing the rest of his body and all the spledid detail of such a beautiful bird.

As far as the "portrait" shot goes, I do a lot of that myself... It's a hard call. Some judges insist on feet and there are some that don't. As another poster mentioned, expression can really sell the image, and this one has it...

Best of luck, let us know how you fare with the contest! I hope you win, it's a gorgeous image!

All the best,
Ken

The_cheshirecat Senior Member • Posts: 1,169
Late to the party but…

If this were a model, I would say very nice, go with it. But being an animal, especially a bird, I take a very different perspective.

I prefer the composition of first portrait. The one with the feet gains you little worth, if any, and it looks like you “just missed” getting the entire bird because the tail is missing, not just at the bottom but at the back as well.

I agree another you are missing detail which IMO should be presented in the lighter, and even in the darker areas. This gives me the impression of a soft portrait look, even though some of the detail is sharp (if you look for it), The eye seem void of expression, even with the highlight. In bird photography this is usually considered a very important component – sharp, and providing some ocular detail (did I explain that correctly?).

What ever you decide, good luck!
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