Male American Kestrel with preyAmerican Kestrel male with prey – Nikon D200, f6.3, 1/1500, ISO 400, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited, not a set up

If only… this American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) had turned more my way when it lifted off with its prey.

If only… I would have had more shutter speed to freeze the wing action.

If only… I would have been closer or had more focal length so this would not be a large crop.

Those are just some of the frustrations that bird photographers go through.  But with each “bad image” I create I review and see what I might have been able to change to get a better shot and the next time I am presented with a similar situation I can recall those thoughts and quickly change my settings, angle or location.  Taking the time to review my “bad images” strengthens me as a photographer.

Live and learn!



  1. Jennifer April 5, 2014 at 5:55 am

    When the master speaks! We are so fortunate that you are willing to share your thought processes with us Mia. AND, this photo is totally fabulous as well.

  2. Roy May 24, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Love your “If Only” shot. If only I had the time and resources to travel and take photos to my hearts content,,, that would be so grand! I truely enjoy reading your articles and photos.

    • Mia McPherson May 25, 2013 at 6:37 am

      Thanks Roy… Those “if only’s” are intriguing!

  3. Utahbooklover May 21, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    Forget the if only’s — a great photo in my opinion!

  4. Nanci Warner March 22, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    I think this is a wonderful photo of a kestrel. I can’t imagine it being better.

    • Mia McPherson March 23, 2012 at 6:01 am

      Hi Nanci, thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. You are very kind!

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