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Hot Summer II or Jack-a-dandy

Hot Summer II or Jack-a-dandy
Photo Information
Copyright: Alexei Alyokhin (Alex99) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-05-24
Categories: Birds
Camera: Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D, Minolta AF 100-400 F4.5-6.7 Zoom APO, Hoya HMC Super UV(0) 72 mm
Exposure: f/11, 1/750 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-06-19 0:11
Viewed: 5240
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 152
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I still have some problems at small birds photographing. Principal point is the subject distance. At my countryside house places there are not enough people and birds are very timid. Usually they allow me to come nearer not more close than on 15-20 meters. It is clear I cannot get good enough pictures at this conditions.

In this year there are many species of birds live around my house. One of these species has presented now. I like it so much. This is simple enough bird but it is looked very elegantly. Past year I met these birds very seldom. Now I can see them every day but I cannot come nearer to them close again.

To photograph this bird I have gone on cunning. I have left opened a small window of a garret of my house and despite of my being busy during my work all time glanced at wires, which pass at a level of a window. As soon as I saw there this bird, I ran on a garret with the camera. Once I nevertheless managed to take a few pictures. The shooting distance is 8 m.

Unfortunately, I have no idea about species of this charming bird. At the picture the bird is not singing. It was hot weather and the bird often opened a mouth and hard breathed. Don't worry. It feels OK. Here it is a lot of water around. The bird simply thus adjusts temperature of the body.

No. I so cannot. Despite of deficiency of free time I nevertheless have found data on this bird. This is Lesser Grey Shrike Lanius minor.
Some info about this species you can find here:
Lesser Grey Shrike
Lanius minor
Lanius minor

Updated after accurate definition by Ivan Kruys (Argus).
This is another species: Lanius collurio. More info see here:
Red-backed shriket, Lanius collurio, Red-backed shrike.

Many thank to our expert and great photographer Ivan.

Ken52, GLEM, jaycee, Jamesp, jcoowanitwong, blakitan, Tamrock, SelenE, Juyona, coasties, SkyF, Matt-Bird, vanderschelden, ellis49, marhowie, scottevers7, JoseMiguel, Luis52, oscarromulus, takos1, XOTAELE, ramthakur, mikou, star74, Adanac, anel, izler, uleko, Necipp, Silvio2006, saguzar, meyerd, Maite, dew77, peter_stoeckl, fiyo, sunkirana, delic, mlines, ridvan, saeedabbasi, jmp, JORAPAVI, pilonm, pvb, Perro, Ena, undoredo, Miss_Piggy has marked this note useful
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Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Argus: Red-backed Shrike (Lanius collurio).Alex99 1 06-21 13:52
To vanderschelden: RAW-converter and meAlex99 1 06-19 12:35
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Ken52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 636 W: 93 N: 1243] (4195)
  • [2007-06-19 0:20]

Hello Alex,
This is stunning! I really like the exposure. The colors are very natural and the light is outstanding. Your focus is pin sharp and the details are exceptional. Great DOF and very pleasing background. I like the composition as well.
It is an amusing story you tell of mixing work with your passion for photography. Thank you for sharing this beautiful bird.
Best regards,

  • Great 
  • GLEM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 540 W: 87 N: 750] (10)
  • [2007-06-19 0:28]

salut Alexei,
absolument parfait, l'image est d'une qualité professionnelle. Excellente netteté, couleur et lumière. Il y a juste une dépderdition au bout de la queue et sur l'aile arrière, à cause du PP je pense.

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2007-06-19 0:51]

Hi Alexei,

This Shrike is beautiful from head to tail! Your picture is perfect. Beautiful colors - very sharp details - wonderful pose - cute expression with the open beak (interesting note) - excellent background and a simple but marvelous composition.


hi alexei,
very nice capture, very sharp image, lovely fof, nice pov, well saturated colour tones, nicely composed shot,
tfs & regards

Alex...this is a very good sharp focus. I am impressed with the lighting and details of the bird.
Whatever you did worked in your favour to try again.

Hi Alexei,
This is a wonderful capture of the red backed shrike.Nice lighting,POV and sharpness.
Very well seen.

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2007-06-19 1:39]

Hi Alexei

Wow - a stunning posting. The shrike is razor sharp, the POV is excellent with great eye contact. I also like the off-centre compositon and the blurred BG.



Hello Alexei,
This is truly charming bird. Perfect picture with perfect sharpness and exposure. POV and composition are great. Also thanks for your informative note.

Hi Alex,
Perfect DoF, extremely well focused, very neat image.
Excellent shot.


hi alexei!

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2007-06-19 3:34]

Hi Alexei,
The distance is usually a problem... But you got a very good result on this one. Clarity, focus and lighting is very good. Well done and TFS

very good sharpness, nice pose, well composed, great job, well done

Good shot from your window.
I think teh sharpness you achieved here is very good and I like the hot weather pose.
Well composed with good background.


  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2007-06-19 4:53]

Hola amigo Alexei,
preciosa captura, bello bg,
elegante pov,

Hi Alexei

Great image. Perfect catchlight, great pose, lovely colours. Very nice work. :-)

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2007-06-19 7:07]

Hello Alexei,
does not look like you had any problems taking this little birds photo as this is an
excellent portrait.
Wonderful detail and the timing is excellent as the bird does give you such a lovely singing pose.
The POV and wonderful light bring out the details and colors perfectly.
Very well composed with nice placing of your subject and a great OOF BG.

Hello Alexei,
Very sharp shot of this bird against a good bg.

bonjour a lexei
c'est comme a chaque fois,on ne peut vraiment rien reprocher a vos photo,ici encore c'est parfait,l'oiseau se detache vraiment du BG qui est parfaitement flou.
la netteté sur le sujet est excellente.

Hi Alexei,
a very good picture with fine exposure and good details.
Well composed and good POV. I like the DOF too,
the whole bird in focus and the BG nicely blurred.
As you mention, you need at least come within 10 m to get a
decent for a 400-500mm lens so it's not so easy.
Well done, my friend.

Hi Alexei,
A solution could be to shoot the same species in places were these birds are less timid.
Or placing feeders...
Good image; I like the background and the pose.
I'm puzzled a bit about the black head line; I wonder whether this is through sharpening or not...
Well done
PT through editing

Hi Alexei,
Very good color & light, nice open-beak pose. Well composed with sharp detail and great DOF, excellent BG as well :)

Hi Alexei,
It appears you nailed this shot perfectly. Amazing detail, it is tack sharp. A spot on exposure has the colors looking great. Nice OOF backrounds shows this little fellow very well. Well composed and frame. Great xamera work here.

  • Great 
  • marcin Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 138 W: 0 N: 268] (2057)
  • [2007-06-19 16:24]

hi alexei,
very nice capture, very sharp

Privet Alexei,
A wonderful capture of this bird!
I like so much the sharpness of the image, and the crystal clear details got.
Kind of funny the pose caught, it seems like a singer with the arms at the back, while delighting to the audience.
Congratulations and thanks for share it.
My best regards,

  • Great 
  • demeve Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 586 W: 12 N: 1682] (6165)
  • [2007-06-19 17:16]

Hello Alex, Fantastic shot of this beautiful bird, I love the green BG and the bird's pose. Very sharp and colorful, great POV and composition..well done

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2007-06-19 22:02]

Hola Alexei.- I like this fine and beatiful photo. Very clear and exelent sharpnes. Luis52.

Dear true friend,
It is truely amazing how you find the time to run your business and afford us the great luxury of seeing your grand works of art. Am so happy you love your hobby.
Love the exposure. Tomorrow I shall post two, not one but two birds. I'm sure you will love it. Done with the new Sony.
This image is sooooooo soothing to the eyes.
A warm hug from Mario.
LOVE YOUR WORK. Have learnt a lot about imaging from you.

hello Alexei

perfect shot with a magnificient subjet on a green BG
technic: good composition, great details ( sharpness) and lovely colours+ exposition on bird is perfect too

Ciao Alexei,
ottima foto, particolari precisi e colori stupendi, complimenti!


  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2007-06-20 10:03]

Hello Alexei,
Colours, sharpness, POV, DOF, BG, composition, pose of the bird, expression, etc.... everything is just perfect. Even the wire in colouring.

Hola Alexei.
Maravilloso pajarillo. Colores tenues bien saturados y muy agradablemente presentados.
Estupendo BG.
Saludos amigo y muchas gracias por tus elogios.
Hasta pronto, JL.

What a sharp and crisp image, Alexei! And you did not even use a tripod. Marvellous!
So the bird's mouth is open due to heat, otherwise I would have thought you caught it singing.
Thanks for sharing this wonderful image of a bird one does not see frequently on TN.
Best regards.

  • Great 
  • mikou Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 869 W: 68 N: 1479] (6093)
  • [2007-06-20 14:08]

Hi Alexei.
You you're right,birds in of free nature are more shy than birds in the town.Did you it solved very well :-)).
This capture is really perfect.Excellent sharpness with great sharp details in plumage and amazingly soft nuances of colors in plumage on bird.Precise exposure and very good DOF with superb blurred BG.Well composed presentation with very nice pose of this bird.My compliments and thank you for sharing.
Best greetings Milos.

  • Great 
  • star74 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 211 W: 3 N: 598] (2474)
  • [2007-06-20 15:52]

Hi Alexei,
Amazing shot,
Perfect clarity,details and colors,

  • Great 
  • Etka Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 95 W: 0 N: 59] (514)
  • [2007-06-20 16:04]

Piekna fotografia. Niesamowite szczegoly, detale.
Ladny kadr.


You take bird’s picture and I take butterflies’ :-) This world is upside down Alexei :)

What a beautiful capture! I love this lightning, excellent POV, details, exposure, contrast, colors and light in its eye (ouf) ! This picture is strong enough to make us forget about the wire! This bird is a beauty, congratulations!

  • Great 
  • Adam73 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 208 W: 5 N: 522] (2253)
  • [2007-06-20 20:08]

Wow, most of the time birds on power lines or wires are boring but this is amazing. The exposure is perfect, the black eye on black feathers and the catch light is very nice. Perfect creamy background and no clutter. Very beautiful shot.


  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-06-20 21:22]

Hello Alexei

What a beauty.The bird is so animated.The focus and details are sharp.Wonderful plumage details too.The POV and DOF are masterfully done.The OOF BG has a lovely bokeh to it.The eye has a beautiful glint in it.Superb.TFS


  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2007-06-21 3:07]

Hello Alex,
Amazing pose of this little bird. It looks like it would cross the wings behind its back, like old schoolmasters used to do. Excellent decentred composition, perfect sharpness and beautiful blurred background. Cute and fine bird-picture.
Have a nice day

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2007-06-21 7:40]

Hello Alex,
You have captured razor sharp details with your focus and nice plummage colors with your exposure, greta work Alex.

  • Great 
  • izler Gold Star Critiquer [C: 1387 W: 3 N: 9] (44)
  • [2007-06-21 10:01]

merhaba my friend
i see wonderful portrait photo of this cute and beautiful bird and i like its pose
composition, point of view, depth of field, background, lighting, colours, focus, sharpness and details are great
thanks for sharing

  • Great 
  • clnaef Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 778 W: 67 N: 645] (6814)
  • [2007-06-21 10:45]

Belle et fière posture pour ce charmanrt oiseau.
Bonne journée.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-06-21 12:50]

Hello Alexei,
I love Shrikes, they're such beautiful birds!
Your capture is brilliant, very sharp and the light has brought out the colours really well.
I like its pose and the composition is very nice.
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-06-21 13:03]
  • [+]

Hello Alexei,
Superb capture of this shrike, well worth the patience in getting close enough to be able to take the details. Excellent details lighting and composition.
The high quality of this shot has, however, helped me to correct your ID.
Superficially this looks like the Lesser Grey Shrike, but there are two things that contradict that:
1. there is a little chestnut brown showing on the wing. The L. grey shrike has no brown anywhere.
2. the top of the black is level with the eye. The black 'mask' on the L. grey shrike is much higher at the front to make it look like it has a black forehead.
So this is a front view of a male Red-backed Shrike (Lanius collurio).
Sorry I could not help you in this earlier!
TFS and best wishes, Ivan

Hello Alexei a superb sharp detailed shot good timing and pose captured spot on focus tfs best rgds Necip.

Hi Alexei, splendid bird in great pose with wonderful colors, excellent sharpness, good details and lovely blurry BG, very well done, ciao Silvio

Hello Alexei,
Excelent pic of this slim bird. Your effort gives very good results. Details and close up are superb.

  • Great 
  • meyerd Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 585 W: 64 N: 2238] (7531)
  • [2007-06-21 16:36]

Hello Alexei,
so now you join the ranks of the top bird photographers Alexei. Everything is perfect here. I like in particular the attitude of the bird and the fine colours. You have my admiration for this. And I like your note: I almost see you stalking photographic objects around your house!
My best regards

  • Great 
  • Maite Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 998 W: 65 N: 1270] (5199)
  • [2007-06-21 18:17]

A beautiful bird and a wonderful composition, Alexei! Sorry I am too sleepy as to make a good comment but tomorrow I'm going out for the weekend and will have no time.
Thank you very much for this new marvel of yours.
My best wishes

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2007-06-22 2:06]

Privet Alexei,
Beautiful capture of this singing shrike.POV,BG and pose of bird are excellent.Nicely exposed and composed.
Very well done!

Dear Alexei,

a winner from you, once again!
Very strict and clear, minimalized composition with in an emotionally touching, very vital and intense bird portrait.

Thank you! My best regards,


  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2007-06-22 4:04]

Hi Alexei,
Outstanding shot of this beautiful singing bird. Immaculate sharpness and amazing clear details. Nice colours, fine focus and the smooth BG is abmirably presented. Execellent POV to portray it and a precise DOF. It just looks awesome. Very nicely composed. Kudos.

  • Great 
  • fiyo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1053 W: 5 N: 3475] (15161)
  • [2007-06-22 8:16]

Great shot,
very nice capture with a superb composition
Superb detail . Very sharp and clear.
Thanks for posting

Alexei, WONDERFUL composition - the way you have given the bird enough space to move in the direction of its head espacially. Beautiful clean BG, very good details and colours.

Good work, Warm regards, Kiran

  • Great 
  • delic Gold Star Critiquer [C: 440 W: 6 N: 310] (898)
  • [2007-06-22 16:33]

Hello Alexei,
Another textbook example of a composition. Superb detail and contrast, plus the lovely background... Looks alive on my screen. Congratulations!

""I still have some problems"" you must be kidding my friend!
This is a shot with great sharpness and detail! Not only that , the + compo on the 1/3 - 2/3 axis is special! Tfs, Jay


Hello Alexei, Another wonderful bird photo which has excellent clarity and colours. I hope one day to be able to take some like this. A really good nature photograph. Murray.

Belle photo de cet oiseau qui est légèrement coloré, bien pris, le bec ouvert. Amitiés Thomas

selam : well captured and presented pose with splendid colours. nice BG and POV TFS
best wishes

Hi dear Alexei ,
very nice shot with excellent focus.
wonderful composition and lovely mood.
background is great too.
A perfect shot.
Thanks for shairng
My best wishes

  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2007-06-23 16:44]

Hi Alexei

Wonderful shot! super sharpness, lovely pose and wonderful DOF. The composition is beautiful as well. Really lovely shot



  • Great 
  • ddg Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 867 W: 24 N: 1008] (5507)
  • [2007-06-24 2:43]

Bonjour Alex, c'est du grand art!! Colours that harmonize, sharpness, great lighting, framing and timing!! everthing is perfect. Regards, Didier.

Hello Alexei,
Hey, what are you talking about..?!
You master the light so well here, making the subject really stand out!
Good natural colours and great details in the plumage, very well composed image!
Pablo -

Great shot Alex,
This is sharp and contrasty, lots of detail and has a nice composition.
I like the position of the bird and how well you've exposed those whites.
Smooth background helps isolate the subject.
Great work!

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2007-06-24 14:51]

Hi Alexei
This is really a very smart bird. Perfect composition, pose, exposure and details. Wire adds a strong touch to the photo!
TFs, José M.

En tu línea Alex, pocas fotos publicadas últimamente pero todas ellas selectas. Esta es preciosa con una inmejorable LUZ y ENFOQUE que nos permiten observar en detalle a esa estilizada ave. Enhorabuena !!

Hola Alex,
Una imagen encantadora y de gran belleza, la luz y nintidez son excelentes, TFS. Saludos
José Ramón

Hello Alexei!
This time only a short comment (it is 1:15 am and early morning I have to be at work...)
Composition: 5
Contrast and BG: 5
Details: 5
DOF: 5
POV: 5

Summarizing: 25 ;> (and the scale is: 0-5 ;>)
Best greetings and TFS my Friend!

  • Great 
  • pilonm Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 588 W: 90 N: 975] (3321)
  • [2007-06-27 12:50]

Hello Alexei,

What a great picture of this lovely grey bird! The blurry nice bg compliments so well the bird and you got a great POV! Excellent exposition and good composition. Great timing also to have it singing that way!

Great job and TFS,


Hello Alexei.

Fantastic bird, very good details.

Jose Luis.

  • Great 
  • pvb Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 385 W: 16 N: 531] (1981)
  • [2007-06-30 2:33]

Hi Alexei,
This is great the sharpness is very very good and with great details.
Very nice pose of your model and you also had great light here. Very nice colours and blurred bg.
TFS Paula

  • Great 
  • Perro Silver Star Critiquer [C: 41 W: 0 N: 59] (553)
  • [2007-08-26 20:24]

Hello Alexei,
Great picture with perfect sharpness and exposure.
The point of view and wonderful light bring out the details and colors perfectly.
Well composed with a nice background.
Congratulations and thank you for sharing,

Hi Alexei,

excellent bird shot, good sharpness and colors

Well done!


  • Great 
  • Ena Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 324 W: 61 N: 594] (2454)
  • [2007-11-11 11:30]

Hello Alex,
Fantastic shot!
Perfect colors and sharpness!

The DOF here is perfect and makes the bird appear super sharp since the background is so very soft. Apart from being a great composition, the moment is wonderful as you caught the little guy singing. Great work.

Hello Alexei,
What a beautiful shot of this little friend!
This is one of the impeccable shots on TN I think.
Well presented with excellent details, focusing, and exposure, also very nice composition & POV. WoW!
Thanks for the sharing this lovely photo.
Best wishes,

Hallo Alexei
I think I have used all the nice and descriptive words in my vocabulary to describe your postings, and they where all deserved. This Grey Shrike is no exception and it deserves every smiley awarded. What a gorgeous petite bird. Composition is good, focus is great and detail is sharp. Well presented. I like the round black eye and the smooth feathers on the chest. I also like the way you have captured it, dispIaying the beautiful inside of the tailpiece. It is really spectacular. It was like all your other postings a real pleasure to look.
Kind regards

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