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Bald eagle portrait

Bald eagle portrait
Photo Information
Copyright: Andy Cole (flagman) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 351 W: 44 N: 607] (2408)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-05-24
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 20D, Canon 70-200 f/4L, Hoya Super HMC Pro1 67mm Sky1B
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/250 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Travelogue: A week in the Lake District
Date Submitted: 2006-08-11 11:27
Viewed: 4851
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 49
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This magnificent bird was on display in a fairly small cage at a bird of prey centre near Penrith in the Lake District.
I went to the centre hoping to see it fly but was unlucky, so just this shot in it's cage. It was taken through wire mesh but it's close enough to not be visible.
I'm not 100% happy with it, although I can't put my finger on what it is that bugs me about it. Then, I'm not always the best judge of my own work. Please give me your honest opinions about it. I'd rather hear a constructive criticism than a polite comment!

Conditions: Cloudy
Handheld, resting on a post.
See EXIF data for more info.

p.s. I've posted the original frame as a WS (cringe!)

gurupawan, carper, sAner, wuta, wkshelton, liquidsunshine, RAP, Dando, Alex99, coasties, kedavis, aido, SkyF, Shoot_Score has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Fisher: Colour balanceflagman 2 08-14 15:12
To Scott: Cropflagman 1 08-14 06:06
To pac: 200mm!flagman 1 08-14 06:05
To Hil: Penrith Bird of prey centreflagman 1 08-14 05:59
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Andy,
I don't know what is bugging you in this... Maybe it is that the details on its neck feathers could be a little more sharp? It seems that you focused on its eyes and you did great with it! I was very impressed by this portrait! For me it is really well done and I'm trying here to not be too polite :) TFS,

Hi andy ,

An amazing potrait , it would have been great to c more details of the neck part too , The composition and DOF is good. the green BG has brought this potrait more alive. Well done.



  • Great 
  • carper Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1973 W: 119 N: 2582] (8439)
  • [2006-08-11 12:04]

super shot andy,
a fantastic portrait of this bald eagle. great point of view, fantastic details like the eyes, yes Andy is is a good one congratiolations.
gr. jaap

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2006-08-11 12:42]

Great portrait of this bald eagle, Andy.
Fantastic details and light.
I like the POV and your tight crop and composition.
Nice shallow DOF.
TFS. : )

  • Great 
  • sAner Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1455 W: 74 N: 1426] (4750)
  • [2006-08-11 13:09]

Hi Andy,

I am not 100% sure what's bugging you, but I noticed some noise (most noticable in the bg but also throughout the whole picture). I am not sure whether the noise is also in the RAW file but I guess it appeared after sharpening and my guess is that you have also adjusted the exposure quite a bit on this one, am I right? I think I can also see a few spots on the darker area of the feathers which are a bit oof, probably because of camera noticing the wire fence. Apart from the noise, I think this is a very nice portrait though. The pose of this eagle is perfect and the look in it's eyes is fierce. I have seen many of these magnificent birds in the wild when I was in Alaska and I think they're really impressive. I also like your framing a lot. TFS!


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  • wuta Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 855 W: 2 N: 617] (2142)
  • [2006-08-11 14:02]

A Great shot beautifull Andy ,his eyes feathers details sharpnes very good ,i like it ,tfs , Nice Weekend ,Teunie .

Hello Andy, I thank bald eagle are very photogeinic, You shot make another great example of how photogenic they really are, Excllent colors, the white and brown is really right on spot, TFS Kyle

Hi Andy,
The focus on the eyes and beak are as sharp as needs to be. Minor nits would be BG noise, very slight OE on the top of the head, and to me the soft white feathers are a bit too soft. But as I say it's only very minor nits. The image itself as a whole is very good, and you've captured a great pose from the eagle.
Well composed and good framing.
Thanks for posting, have a great weekend.

  • Great 
  • RAP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2524 W: 345 N: 2373] (7405)
  • [2006-08-11 16:40]

Excelente retrato con nitidez y un manejo de los tonos realmente muy bueno... sobre todo los blancos tan difíciles.
Atinado DOF y POV con un perfecto foco en los ojos del ave.
Comparto el criterio de sAner del origen del ruido de fondo.
Excelente entrega... gracias por compartirla.
Saludos... Ricardo

Excellent portrait with clarity and handling of the tones really very good... mainly the so difficult whites.
Accurate DOF and POV with a perfect focus in the eyes of the bird.
I share the criterion of sAner of the origin of the bottom noise.
Excellent post... thank you for sharing.
Greetings... Ricardo

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  • Dando Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 637 W: 32 N: 792] (3084)
  • [2006-08-11 17:30]

Hi Andy, amazing portrait. The pose is truly excellent and the details, colours and exposure are perfect. Truly excellent work my friend and TFS.

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  • Hil Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 696 W: 13 N: 1407] (5035)
  • [2006-08-11 17:51]
  • [+]

Hi Andy

Superb shot, I don't see why you are not 100% happy, the detail in the feathers is excellent and the colours are lovely, the POV and Pose is great.
I agree there is a little noise in the BG but the Eagle is excellent.
I only live 19 miles from Penrith so might have a run out and see what I can catch.

Regards Hilary :)

Hi Andy,

I'll fix what you are having a hard time putting your finger on. ;)
Beautiful capture and well composed. The neckline curve is attractive.
Red/magenta color balance needs minor touch. ;)

Hello Andy
I looked, I saw, I liked!!! Wonderful capture. I could see nothing at all wrong with this picture and then I read the critiques. This has been a great example of what all of you at TN can teach NEWBIEs like me. Thanks so much for the Eagle with the EYES and the opportunity to learn. TFS

Superb portrait of this magnificent eagle. A perfect focus in the eyes of the bird.A little noise in BG...only a little!
Best regards

  • Great 
  • pac Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 67 W: 13 N: 157] (1783)
  • [2006-08-12 3:54]
  • [+]

Hi Andy,

Very good on this bird!

There's A non-iso200 quality to the picture - I think it looks somewhat grainy - did you saturate it? (saturation introduce a lot of noise if you dont do it "correctly")

How on earth did you manage to get 200mm focal length using a 40mm lens - that's what your exif states..

Anyway, I throw you a "2" for the nice compo, pov and a generally very good shot!


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  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2006-08-12 6:15]

Hi Andy.
This your one of the best pictures. Exactness of reproduction of all details of this graceful bird is fantastic. Great colours, impressive and excellent BG, pose of Eagle ets are brilliant. Superb done and TFS.

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  • Scott Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 225 W: 0 N: 356] (1752)
  • [2006-08-12 6:21]
  • [+]


To be honest, it's uncomfortable because it it too "in my face" .. did you crop? can you workshopit and back out a little?
the details the exposure, are great,
The eyes are great .. so clear ..


Hi Andy

Well done on a lovely shot. Complimentary OOF BG to enhance the image. Nicely composed. Lovely saturation of of colours. :-)

Hi Andy,
Superb eagle portrait!!Congratiolations...TFS.Hilmi

  • Great 
  • aido Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 1044 W: 156 N: 1218] (4046)
  • [2006-08-12 20:34]

Hi Andy,
It's a beautiful portrait, the POV and pose are superb. It's not often we see them with their head feathers pulled in so tightly, quite unusual in my experience. I have no idea what's bugging you about this, the only thing I can see is that because the head feathers are pulled in so tightly the textures look unusual, but that's entirely natural I think. It's a great portrait with good detail and perfect DOF, a really nice piece of work.

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2006-08-23 8:44]

Hello Andy,
Amazing picture with an wonderful composition as well as a perfect exposure resulting in great color and contrast.

great job with this captive beauty.

Hi Andy
These queens of the air always give excellent photos, with their penetrating looking. In my opinion, I would reduce the yelow colour (it is too much yellow, at least in my monitor..). Apart of that , is excellent.

  • Great 
  • mrcrow Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 422 W: 98 N: 194] (3008)
  • [2006-11-15 10:42]

this must be your best..at least from a dynamic point of view with ultimate sharpness and dominant features
a good catch

Ah Andy, I think I may be able to elp you with the "put finger on what"... Simply put the bird is "cockeyed".
< One round pupil, one pupil a squished oval >
The left eye not being focussed on the viewer, gives this an "eery" feel. Or as a Canuck I would see "this bird is a bit looney", eh! I found that my "reaction" also varies with the angle from which I view the shot.

Otherwise, nice shot, I would have been pretty happy with it! ;)

HtH, Jay

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