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Tawny Eagle

Tawny Eagle
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: 2006-02-18
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 300D, Canon 70-200 f/4L, Hoya Super HMC Pro1 67mm Sky1B
Exposure: f/4, 1/800 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Travelogue: A day at Whipsnade [III]
Theme(s): Zoo animals, The best photo on TN?, Pankaj Bajpai's Favourite, Great Portraits [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-02-22 9:57
Viewed: 9121
Favorites: 5 [view]
Points: 72
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I've had to edit this note as I incorrectly identified this bird as a common buzzard, and it has since been ID'd as a Tawny Eagle (Aquila rapax).
At the time of taking the shot, I got my ID by looking at the name plate on an empty cage near where the bird was out on display. There were no other birds around that looked like buzzards (all much too small) so I put 2 and 2 together....I then checked other photos on TN and elsewhere to check that my ID was correct. I think the 2 birds look quite similar in colour, size and beak shape (to the untrained eye) but if you know your stuff, apparently this is obviously not a buzzard ;) Thanks to Merlin for helping me with the ID.

The bird was on display at Whipsnade Wild animal Park, Bedfordshire.

This was the 2nd of several photos I took of this bird, the first one he was looking to the side, but as soon as he heard my camera he looked straight at me, so I was able to get this nice shot. I'll post some of the other shots in due course. I was about 3m away, my camera and lens were resting on a fence post.

I like this a lot but don't let that stop you from telling me how I could improve it!

Friday, dew77, sunkirana, carper, thistle, hummingbird24, sAner, marhowie, loot, scottevers7, extramundi, horia has marked this note useful
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Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To horia: Thanksflagman 1 03-14 06:59
To extramundi: Thanksflagman 1 03-12 05:36
To Merlin: Eagle or Buzzardflagman 6 03-13 12:44
To liquidsunshine: Getting a great shot at whipsnadeflagman 2 02-23 18:12
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Critiques [Translate]

Fantastic portrait! Details and colours just excelent. Thanks for sharing,

Fabulous shot.Excellent feather detail and eye contact.

Very good portrait.Fantastic details.

  • Great 
  • eev Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 64 W: 33 N: 66] (756)
  • [2006-02-22 10:50]

Very sharp picture with wonderful detail and colour. Your framing is also well done.

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2006-02-22 11:17]

Hello Andy!
An excellent portrait.Details,sharpness,eye contact,
expression on face,framing and composition are
wonderful.Exposure is spot on.TFS...:-)

  • Great 
  • reina Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 257 W: 1 N: 330] (2032)
  • [2006-02-22 11:20]

Hi Andy, excellent shot, great posing, excellent sharpness and well on the eyes.
Congratulations Reina

  • Great 
  • aido Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 1044 W: 156 N: 1218] (4046)
  • [2006-02-22 11:39]

Hello Andy,
Great portrait. Superb detail and colours, eye contact is always a bonus. How to improve it? I really don't know!

Hi Andy,

You know, I work on a Nikon F-80. My friend has a D-50. We are always debating whether a regular SLR is better with a great lense, or a digital with a lesser one. Seeing your pic, I think the answer is "Use best of both".

GREAT pic,

TFS, Kiran.

  • Great 
  • carper Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1973 W: 119 N: 2582] (8439)
  • [2006-02-22 12:00]

fantastic head andy,
it's a juwel, a very good pov and an amazing details, yes I like the shot a lot, very good job.
gr. jaap

With the feathers up like that, and the rich chocolate brown colour, it looks so much like an African Tawny Eagle. Excellent pose and colours.

Hello Andy!
Beautiful colors and details. Excellent potrait! Great work!
TFS ;-)

Excellent capture Andy,
I can see why you're pleased with this shot. I've tried on many occassions to get a good shot of this Buzzard, without any success. I'm planning on a trip to Whipsnade this Sunday, so I'll hopefully get another chance.
Good detail, colours and sharpness.
Composition and exposure are good. Good POV and framing.
I'm putting this in my favourites, it's a great capture Andy.
Thanks for posting, enjoy the rest of the week.

  • Great 
  • mrcrow Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 422 W: 98 N: 194] (3008)
  • [2006-02-22 14:17]

not a canon again!!!!
that is phenomenal sharpness....colour
all the ingredients required you have supplied in great quantity
two eyes...:)
and feather texture in abundance

  • Great 
  • chiliu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1457 W: 0 N: 1176] (6526)
  • [2006-02-22 14:20]

Hi Andy,
Great to see you posting!
This is a superb shot, extremely clear and sharp details,
excellent POV and lovely rich colours.
Thanks for sharing!

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2006-02-22 14:48]

What an awesome portrait of this Buzzard Andy. Looking straight at you, so strong and daring! Excellent sharpness, and the colours and details are perfect.
Well shown, thank you

Hello Andy
Incredible shot. It is looking at me.
Wonderful detail and colour. Great POV.

  • Great 
  • jossim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1538 W: 5 N: 2240] (12636)
  • [2006-02-22 22:10]

Bonsoir Andy

Excellent portrait!

Félicitations pour l'exposition et les détails.
Merci pour la grande qualité d'image.


Hello Andy,

No time for a proper critique, just wanted to touch base and give a deserved :-)

Fantastic details, composition, and eye contact, laced with attitude!

Great job!


Hello Andy, nice to see you again.
If I have to be honest I have no idea how to improve this photo. It's perfect for me!
Love his pose and eyes, lighting and warm colours of the picture.
Very well done on this one!

  • Great 
  • sAner Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1455 W: 74 N: 1426] (4750)
  • [2006-02-23 6:35]

Hi Andy,

We already discussed this photo thoroughly through e-mail, so I will just say that this is your best picture ever. This is the best crop possible (I have seen the original), the details are amazing and the colors are great. Superb POV, excellent DOF and the fierce look in the eye (and the direct eyecontact) is just fabulous. I wish this was mine. Excellent! TFS!


Ps: If I had to make a negative remark, I would say that the tip of the beak seems slightly oof.

Look at that agression in his eyes!! Nice shot of a great raptor. Great sharpness and POV. TFs Cris

Very nice shot Andy. Lovely light and depth of colour. Well composed with sharp details. Good work. TFS.

Excellent detail and tonal colors is this fantastic capture. Well done Andy. :)

You've pulled off a great portrait shot of this bird - but it's not a Common Buzzard. This is definitely one of the Aquila eagles, and I'm pretty certain it's a Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis.
Regards, Nigel.

Hi Andy,
Best lookin' buzzard I've ever seen ;-)
Heck of a job here, excellent portrait!

  • Great 
  • loot Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
  • [2006-03-09 15:07]

Hi Andy
Good golly, it is painful watching this!!!

I need a paper bag to stop me from hyperventilating.

I don't believe I should say anything else because it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that this photo is just perfect.
Great stuff. TFS

Excellent portrait. What really caught my attention is the fact that the BIRD is STARING right at the camera, which makes it more appealing. Great job..

Hi Andy,
The light here was excellent. Very beautiful colors in the plumage. The detail is just outstanding. Very sharp! Perfect DOF has render a perfect OOF backround. Great pose and eye contact. SUPERB!

  • Great 
  • BeBe Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 123 W: 0 N: 253] (931)
  • [2006-05-06 18:55]

Hi Andy, excellent sharp photo, nice colors and background, Juan

Cet oiseau est incroyable! Merci pour ce beau moment, tout est parfait quasiment irréel!

  • Great 
  • Adam73 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 208 W: 5 N: 522] (2253)
  • [2006-12-15 10:44]

wow, what an excellent portrait! color saturation, Exposure, and DOF are awesome. Sharpness and details as well. I love the fluffed feathers, he looks like he posed for you. Very well done.

Print it and hang it on the wall!
A pleasure to enjoy photos like this one, congratulations.
Regards, Felipe.

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2007-03-13 7:55]
  • [+]

Hi Andy

I was happy to see drop by the forum threads but then it came to mind that you haven't posted for quite a long time...so i thought i would "take a walk" through your gallery to look at some older works of yours...
And found THIS! WOW! I was amazed just by the thumbnail and when i opened the picture, it simply left me speechless.
After that, for about 3-4 minutes i admired all the details and colors {with my mouth opened, i may add :)) ] and only after i could myself together and write you something.

The frontal POV on this one is just amazing and it adds so much impact to the portrait. The look so capture in its eyes is amazing and most impressive and the eyes (as photo elements) have just the right intensity of light - if it would have been a little less light, they would be too dark and you would have lost the colors and if they were even a bit brighter, they wouldn't have been so impressive and stately.
The definition of every feather is outstanding and the sharpness of the details everywhere is magnificent.
The colors are perfectly saturated and they contrast very beautifully with the BG. Another aspect here is the to of the head and the way it looks again this lovely BG - and what i mean by that is the way the feathers there stand against the blurry BG...it's a rare sight but it sure makes it an even more special photo. Ohh...almost forgot...the fact that you’ve managed to capture so well the brighter tip of those feathers is again a praiseworthy thing and it creates even more impact and wonderful contrast.
The DOF is just perfect - keeping everything is full focus and (i know i said this a lot now...but it's true) blurring that BG beautifully.

The photos from the WS are also great - showing him in all sorts of poses, one more beautiful and interesting as the other. :)

As a conclusion: no wonder this photo is in the "Best photo from TN" theme. It's worth all the credit and a lot more!
Definitely a favorite!


  • Great 
  • orenk (45)
  • [2007-08-28 10:41]

Amazing shot! Crisp, clear, colorful. I mostly liked the "expression" on its face.

Hi andy,

The pefect potrait. Very well focused & good eye contact.
Well done & tFS.


From where I'm Sitting Andy
This doesn't need Improved.
Excellent Shot,
Beautiful Colours.
Looks like he seen you coming
& Just Posed For you.
Thanks For Sharing.

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