While I was working on my Snowy Egret post from yesterday I wandered through some of my older files and came across this Semipalmated Plover image and it struck me that I had something to say about a critique I had gotten about it when I posted it to an image critique forum I used to be active on. The comment “ruffled my feathers” a bit at that time and recalling what was said made me feel the same way all over again.
Critique forums can be invaluable when learning the craft of photography because most of the thoughtful comments are helpful while some other comments aren’t really helpful at all. Early on I learned a lot from the generous members of the forum who offered help and were honest in their assessment of the files I posted, I am very grateful for those people.
This was the comment:
Very nice, great job on the exposure and I like your comp, maybe just a bit lower angle would make it even better (little silly emoticons of beer mugs knocking together displayed here).
The comment may seem wonderful because it talks about the great job on the exposure and composition but what bothered me was the comment about a bit of a lower angle might have made it even better.
Just looking at the image gives the viewer the idea that I had to be low to the ground when the image was created, this is a tiny little plover on the exposed mudflats after the tide had receded and those little mounds of sand were created by even tinier crabs. My upper half was laying in the slimy mud while my lower half was in the shallow water, the bird was close to the edge of the mudflat with the gentle slope leading to the sand dunes behind it and the bird was actually located just slightly above me.
If the person commenting had noticed what I wrote and the things I mentioned above they would have realized that their comment didn’t make much sense. Had I been any lower the sand from the crabs burrows would have become more of a distraction at the bottom of the frame and that could have ruined the image. So I kind of hope the commenter had been joking.
Besides, to have gotten any lower than the Semipalmated Plover I would have had to have crawled down the burrow of one of those crabs and while I don’t mind getting down and dirty to get my images that would have been taking it just a bit too far.
Yes, I hope he was joking.