This image could have been better. I have no doubt about that. I did get the exposure right and I like the action.
But there are far too many things about this photo that just don’t work.
- I clipped the tip of the wing at the upper edge of the frame.
- The foreground is messy.
- If I cropped to eliminate the messy foreground there would not be enough room for the “virtual” legs that are under the water.
- I don’t have great eye contact.
What I could have done to improve this image:
- My zoom lens was fully extended, I could have zoomed back to allow more room in the frame to avoid clipping the wing tip. If I had been shooting with a prime lens I could have moved back some.
- I was laying on the sand shooting down towards the egret that was in the water. I could have moved from the sand into the water in front of the bird to eliminate the messy, sandy shoreline altogether.
- Normally in a frame you want to leave room for parts of legs, tails, feet or other parts of a subject that may be hidden by water or other features so that it doesn’t make the viewer feel the subject is missing its legs, feet or other body part, had I moved away from the shoreline into the water I could have avoided that issue.
- Had I moved to a location in front of the egret I would have had better eye contact although the position of the wings would have appeared different at another angle.
This was a very cooperative bird because it was not focused on me, it was focused on hunting and eating prey so my moving may not have scared the bird away.
I feel that when I am culling out my “bad” images that it is important to evaluate why the image didn’t work, to mentally list things I could have done to improve the quality and composition, a form of self critique. I also critique the images that I feel “work” well and make a mental list about those items too. It might be a pain to spend the time evaluating individual images but I feel that my photography has improved because of my practising self critique.
Normally images that don’t work I delete right after I view them but this one I kept because it was the “kick in the butt” I needed (and still need) to pay more attention to the problems I see in the frame at the time the image is created.
*I am away for a while so I have scheduled this post ahead of time, please feel free to share it with your family & friends.