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Breaking Point or Ultimate Stretching

Breaking Point or Ultimate Stretching
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: 2007-10-19
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/9.0, 1/250 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2007-11-15 3:35
Viewed: 5099
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 144
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
As I have written at my last post (Deceptive Idyll) I had surprising opportunity to photograph the sparrow at ultra close distance and at quiet situation.

About month ago I have bought the vertical control grip and was getting a pleasure from its using. That day I began to take vertically oriented pictures, then I had changed the camera position and took few horizontally oriented shots, then I used portrait mode again.

Unexpectedly mentioned above idyll had been interrupted by loud twitter of all sparrow flight which settled in the bushes and by noise of their wings and bush's leaves. It was no sounds of danger, and more likely it was noise of cheerful entertainments.

Out character set alone on the gate and did not understand what was happened there. It had immediately jumped up to a rack of a gate about bushes and had done an improbable series of movements and poses in attempts to clear a situation. Further events developed with huge speed which I as the photographer had not mastered.

First of all I had not had time to reduce a focal length. It is clear I also had not had time to return the camera in landscape position. As a result I had cut the charming sparrow tail. Nevertheless in a few seconds I had reduced a focal length up to 250 mm (see my WS) however neither to change an aperture value, nor exposure time I was not in time.

The sparrow changed about 15-20 positions. It quickly shook a head and it waved a tail, and fussed there-here, it was burning with impatience to learn, what was happened. Many pictures taken at series drive mode had appeared blurred. Nevertheless, my WS gives some representation about poses of a sparrow. So and not having understood anything, our hero plunged into the bushes and joined the flight. Bushes of a lilac were dense enough and I did not see anything there any more.

Original shot demonstrates the first extreme sparrow pose on the gate rack. When I saw this shot on the camera LCD and then on the computer monitor I thought that the camera had failed and the sparrow image was deformed. Detailed analysis showed that all was OK. Simply I have never seen such extreme stretching.

ellis49, Adanac, marhowie, JoseMiguel, angybone, sunkirana, gracious, fiyo, nainnain, fartash, horia, undoredo, mariki, eqshannon, Patleboss, nglen, peter_stoeckl, Ena, uleko, Luis52, jmp, anel, Royaldevon, Argus, hester, izler, Isu, JORAPAVI, saeedabbasi, Juyona, SelenE, Maite, star74, jcoowanitwong, Necipp, clnaef, ramthakur, oscarromulus, cloud, mlines, tiklod, jaycee, Finland_in_Eton, Tamrock, valy67, nasokoun has marked this note useful
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Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To eqshannon: I am ashamed.Alex99 2 11-16 06:00
To eqshannon: DOF.Alex99 1 11-16 03:28
To marmottelolo: WS, thanks.Alex99 1 11-16 03:19
To horia: Vertical control grip.Alex99 1 11-15 07:34
To mariki: I was wondering too.Alex99 1 11-15 07:05
To ellis49: Funny interpretation.Alex99 1 11-15 05:51
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Alexei,
this tit has a really long neck, looks he survive a hanging.;-)
Well composed with good pose and POV.
The exposure and sharpness are spot on.
Well done, my friend.

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2007-11-15 4:29]

Hi Alexei,
A great moment freezed here and I am curious to know why it was extending its neck that way. Presents a good study of its flexible neck muscle/bone. Very impressive colours, sharpness, focus, lighting, exposure and DOF. Pity that its tail is cut a bit. Nonetheless, an outstanding shot. Excellent POV and composition. Kudos.

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2007-11-15 4:52]

Hello Alexei,
Superb detail in its' plummage and wonderful pose captured with your normal brilliant camera work. Thanks for sharing Alexei.

Hi Alexei,
Very nice pose captured, great POV.
Excellent color, exposure, DOF, and sharp details..
The tail exclusion is entirely subjective so,
Very well done.

Privet Alexei,
So good the pose caught!
That's which most fascinate me about nature photography: it's always unexpected!
So it depends all on your previous experience, knowledge of your camera and of course good luck!
I like very much the 4 pictures collage made on the WS, a beautiful essay about this bird.
Very good timing to get ready and made all the adjustments in this short time.
My compliments and thanks to post it.
Warm regards,

What a wonderful pose! I love the bird yoga going on here...Sun Salutation. :)
Great details and wonderful lighting.

Very useful notes as always Alexie :-). So my vote first goes for that. We can give feedback to your pictures even without looking at them - PERFECT.

Warm regards,

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2007-11-15 5:40]

Looks like he's been brought up by those South Americans who put rings around thier necks to stretch them!
Or more simply, as Gert said, he's committed a terrible birdie crime and has survived being hanged! :D
This is a superb capture that has captured a humourus moment.
+++ Great sharpness, detail and clarity.
Of course the pose is excellent and so is the POV and composition even if part of the tail is clipped.
Nice colours and lighting.
--- Nothing :)
Well done Alexei!
Best regards,

Hello Alexei,
Very good pose of this beautiful Sparrow!
captured well in perfect exposure and focus with sharpness, vivid colour and so much details
thanks a lot on the wonderful and useful notes
all the best

  • Great 
  • fiyo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1053 W: 5 N: 3475] (15161)
  • [2007-11-15 6:00]

Hello Alexei,
Very well composed, and the details, sharpness and lighting are excellent. TFS

hi alex
tres jolie posture de cet oiseau, bons détails et couleurs nettes sur un superbe BG
bravo a toi et merci du partage

Hello Alexei
Wonderful shot of this beautiful Spparow,
Perfect details,pose and exposure,
Superb shot,Welldone.


Hello Alexei,

I was wondering if you had not modified the picture to do the neck longer :-) Detail is excellent. Very nice capture, great timing!

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2007-11-15 7:13]
  • [+]

Hi Alexei

This is a really unique picture!
You timing here was fantastic and really caught this little sparrow and the peak of its extension. How amazing!
I also love that despite the very few moments of stretching, you were able to get such a sharp picture all the way. Even in your WS your photos seem very clear and detailed.
The shape of the bird her eis really exclusive and that long neck seems to make even the head more stretched and aerodynamic :)
An absolute wonder! Terrific shot!
On a closer inspection, it's a bit of a shame that you cut the tip of the tail...but who really looks at the tail when you have the rest of the body in such a unique pose. :)

Bravo and TFS

Hello Alexei,
What an amazing moment of the shot you've captured!
WoW! what a flexible neck! Looks like different bird I think.
Well presented with excellent details and nice composition, also lovely natural colours and nice focusing here!
TFS and regards,

Hello Alexei,
Very nice capture, I didn't know sparrows could stretch their necks like that, very nice composition even thought the tip of its tail is missing, great POV.. Well done


bonjour alexei
j'ai publié un WS car sur mon ecran je vois des lignes transversales que j'ai attenué en passant le BG dans neatimage.
pour ce qui est de l'oiseau sa pose est extraordinaire,on croirait presque un faisan.
j'adore comment il etend son coup.
le piqué est excellent.bravo.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2007-11-15 10:55]

Hello Alexei,
Very beautiful photo with a special pose. Fantastic details, focus and DOF. Great colours, also in the BG. Nice WS.

How finely the feathers on the chest flow. Soft yet sharp in detail. Then the multi-coloured browns all blend so well together. Interesting how you were able to throw out the perch in order not to subtract form the focal point. Nicely done by an expert!

Hello Alexei,
fantastic pose of this beautifull bird,
your caoture is very sharp , clear and neat with lovely natural colors and wonderfull background
excellent post
cheer and congratulations,

  • Great 
  • marcin Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 138 W: 0 N: 268] (2057)
  • [2007-11-15 11:55]

Hi Alexei,
great moment, excellent color, exposure, DOF, and sharpnes,
Well done, my friend.

  • Great 
  • dejo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 344 W: 51 N: 520] (2242)
  • [2007-11-15 12:03]

Hello Alexei,
What a fantastic capture, perfect timing!
Details and DOF are amazing
beautiful natura colors
Great work

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

hello alex,
perfect timing to get this lovely pose here, nice details of the plumage, well composed shot,
tfs & regards

Hello Alexei,
Nice one, and this is a bit funny too!
Unusual pose and the moment is well captured...
Pin sharp details in the plumage, attractive colours; the bird really stands out in a fine 3D appearance!
Pablo -

its too late for mating procedures so i guess this one was enjoying a stretch
i see the sqirrels do this..they seem mad and run all over the garden jumping and prancing
could be seasonal or just pure joy
i read with interest your 'journey' to keep up..

Sorprendente Alexei !! En principio, por los colores y sobre todo por su forma pensé que era una perdiz común ( Alectoris rufa, red-legged Partridge en idioma Inglés ), aunque luego vi que era un gorrión :-)))
Al igual que en la anterior toma que publicaste, técnicamente es una foto muy conseguida por la excelente luz y el preciso enfoque.
Buen trabajo: Josep Ignasi

Dear Alexei,
a precisely descriptive and also well entertaining study on a sparrow's behaviour. I like this well lighted, frame filling presentation - even without the tail's tip, and I love the sequence in the workshop. Another posting from you with scientific skills of observation, and a warmhearted sympathy for the creature. Thank you! Have a very good day my friend.
My best regards,

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2007-11-16 9:41]

Hi Alexei. What a unusal pose you have captured in the little sparrow. I wonder what he is up to and why do it.you have fine detail and natural colours. with a nice POV/DOF. well done TFS.

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  • Ena Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 324 W: 61 N: 594] (2454)
  • [2007-11-16 11:32]

Hello Alexei,
Fantastic picture!Nice pose of the bird!
Nice natural colors. Perfect plumage sharpness!

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-11-16 12:51]

Hello Alexei,
Excellent and very well-timed capture. At first sight at the thumbnail the Sparrow seemed deformed but on closer inspection he is just showing off, I suppose! You've certainly managed to focus very well and get all details very sharply. SMooth background too and well composed.
Many thanks and have a nice weekend, Ulla

Hahaha, Alexei,
this pose is lovely - did he look for good food? A fantastic shot with good warm light and excellent sharpness, we can see every detail of the feathers.
Thanks and greetings
Sabine - wishnugaruda

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2007-11-16 15:47]

Hi Alexei. Nice Photo of this Sparrow. Is he doing some exercise, or traing to be impresive? I like it. Very sharp and great pose. Luis Leal.

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  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2007-11-17 0:04]

Hi Alexei,
An incredible pose indeed! Perfect and outstanding pose, details, light, pov and composition. Congratulations!
TFS and best regards, José M.

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  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2007-11-17 4:51]

Hello Alex,
Happy to see that nothing bad happened! I thought that it might have stuck on the gate. Very cute and curious little sparrow (I like the picture set of your workshop). Your picture shows indeed a very strange elongated position , which appears even funny and "tant pis" for the cut tail. Very vivid and natural shot. Thanks a lot for it.
Have a nice day

Hello Alexei,

I think you can be excused for cropping the tail! You managed to capture a unique shot! He is certainly performing! You know, he reminds me of a cock when he is crowing!

Excellent detail and sharpness!

Kind regards,
Bev :-)

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-11-17 8:27]

Hello Alex,
I'm glad you visited my portfolio, otherwise I might have missed this one!
This is amazing! I have never seen a bird of any species, let alone a Tree Sparrow, stretching to this extent and I have seen a lot of birds! Excellent timing, excellent sharpness and excellent lighting and composition.
Well done my friend and thanks!
Best wishes, Ivan

  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2007-11-17 10:40]

Hi Alexei

Sometimes the moment is so great that we don't have time to adjust the camera. This is one of those moments. The pose is so great that you don't notice the missing tail end. Wonderfully sharp and with a great POV



  • Great 
  • izler Gold Star Critiquer [C: 1387 W: 3 N: 9] (44)
  • [2007-11-17 11:49]

selam my friend
i say congratulations i looked all other photos of this cute sparrow and i like all of them
composition, point of view, background, lighting, colours, focus, sharpness and details are great
thanks for sharing=paylasim icin tesekurler
izler=me ;)

  • Great 
  • Isu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 313 W: 0 N: 21] (1663)
  • [2007-11-17 12:09]

Estupenda captura Alex.
Buenos detalles y colores.
Saludos, Sira

Una original imagen con una luz perfecta.
Genial el momento.
Saludos, JL.

Hola Alexei,
Otra fantástica y bella imagen, bonita composición con gran nitidez y detalle, saludos
José Ramón

Hi dear Alexei ,
As always great shot with excellent details.
nice sharpness and amazing colour.
it has great composition and nice BG.
well done
Thanks for sharing dear Alexei .
my best wishes

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2007-11-18 15:05]

Hola amigo,
extraña actitud del gorrión,
detalles y color magníficos...
buena captura y original momento y foco.
saludos Alexei.

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-11-18 16:58]

Hello Alex

That is quite a stretch you have captured.I think it is doing a heron impersonation.
The clarity of the shot is wonderful,the focus is razor sharp with amazing definition in the plumage.
The lighting is well done and the colours are rich and well saturated.
Nicely composed in the frame.


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  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2007-11-19 2:04]

Hi Alexei,
I liked the pose you captured a lot :o) It looks quite funny. Light, colors, and details of the plumage are very nice. TFS
Best wishes,

  • Great 
  • Maite Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 998 W: 65 N: 1270] (5199)
  • [2007-11-19 7:08]

Hi Alexei
What an amazing and funny capture! Even if you had to cut the tail, for the speed of events, the shot is surprisingly great and in good timing. The pose of the sparrow is really gorgeous. He was perhaps trying to be a giraffe-sparrow.
A marvellous shot, really.
Congratulations and TFS

  • Great 
  • star74 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 211 W: 3 N: 598] (2474)
  • [2007-11-19 11:02]

Hi Alexei,
Very interesting pose of this bird.First I thought there was PS work done to it.But it seems like he is stretching out.
Very well captured.

Hi Alexei,
This sparrow is in full stretch. I have never seen such action before. The focus is sharp with perfect exposure. Nice blurred background that stands out this beautiful sparrow.

A stunning shot. Like the pose. Very sharp and detailed. Beautiful and vivid colours.
Best wishes,

Hello alexei, excellent sharp shot with fine detail unusual pose caught well taken tfs rgds Necip.

  • Great 
  • GLEM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 540 W: 87 N: 750] (10)
  • [2007-11-20 14:49]

salut Alex
la qualité est vraiment extraordinaire, qui plus est dans la mise en scène parfaite. Magnifique résultat en couleur et netteté, juste dommage que la queue soit coupée.


  • Great 
  • clnaef Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 778 W: 67 N: 645] (6814)
  • [2007-11-20 23:32]

Voilà une posture pour le moins originale.
Bonne journée.

Even if a little of the tail part is not within the frame, it is an equally stunning picture of the bird stretching its neck, Alexei.
An extremely beautiful capture of the sparrow in an endearing posture.
Thanks for sharing it and warm regards.

  • Great 
  • Etka Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 95 W: 0 N: 59] (514)
  • [2007-11-22 1:46]

Wapaniale ujecie. Pieknie go uchwyciles.

"Simply I have never seen such extreme stretching." to quote your notes, with your permission, of course.
Well Alexei, neither have I in all my travels "ALL" over the world & 71 years of life.
Warm regards,
Mario. P.S. It's COLD now in Calgary.

  • Great 
  • Adam73 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 208 W: 5 N: 522] (2253)
  • [2007-11-23 11:22]

Great capture with a cool pose. The details on the body plumage is superb. Exposure on the bird is spot on with great natural colors.

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  • cloud Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 497 W: 111 N: 1535] (9539)
  • [2007-11-24 13:32]

Hello Alexei,
Such pose it's exception. Maybe this sparrow imitate wood grouse, excellent moment, sharpness and light.
Congratulations, Pawel

Hi Alex,
I add my praise. The posture is so unique, the details are all so sharp, it's a marvellous picture. And a hurrah to the cut off tail.
My best egards

  • Great 
  • ridvan Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 498 W: 0 N: 1136] (5205)
  • [2007-11-27 13:29]

selam alexi;
Nice composition.Good POV and sharp image whit nice details.Colors are beautiful.Excellent shot of this lovely bird well done.
TFS ridvan

Hello Alexei,
The colours, the natural light, the details, the sharpness are all well done.
I can't believe this is actually a sparrow:-)
Well done!

  • Great 
  • jesst Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 368 W: 0 N: 172] (2441)
  • [2007-11-29 4:33]

Ой, как это я пропустила такой кадр!
Шикарный "фотомодель"!

wonderful compostion and detail, very good exposure. I really like it

  • Great 
  • mlines Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 556 W: 26 N: 668] (3116)
  • [2007-11-30 14:54]

Hi Alex, A very fine bird photo with that great - looking pose. Very good series of my favorite subject, birds in the wild. TFS. Murray.

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  • tiklod Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 290 W: 74 N: 875] (3397)
  • [2007-12-02 11:33]

Hello Alexei,
Perfect title with this picture!
Excellent sharpness and wonderful colours. Great BG and DOF. Good timing to catch this excellent shot!
Best Regards Alexei,


  • Great 
  • Pier Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 25 W: 0 N: 37] (808)
  • [2007-12-06 11:43]

Una immagine veramente stupenda, ti scopro solo ora ma le tue foto oltre ad essere una esplosione di colore, sono straordinarie per qualita'in tutto.
Un saluto Piero

  • Great 
  • badar Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 106 W: 0 N: 160] (785)
  • [2007-12-10 23:31]

Hi Alexei,
Great details on this sparrow, in an unusual pose.The wing position may suggest a display ? The colours & DOF are perfect. Pity about the tail.

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  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2007-12-13 10:39]

Hi Alexi,

This one caught my attention immediately. I have never seen a sparrow in a position like this. The pose with the stretched neck is priceless. A wonderful shot captured perfectly - in spite of the missing tail. We have all seen sparrow's tails before but nothing like this daily exercise.


Wow ! I love it.. such an unusual pose and wonderful clarity and color. DoF is excellent really making the little bird stand out in great detail.

TFS, Mish

hi alexei!
what a great pose!
fun and good picture with
good quality!
well done!

Hello Alexei !
I wonder why I have missed this picture when you posted it... It is really wonderful ! Excellent details on the feathers, beautiful warm colors, nice composition and POV, excellent blurred BG... But what I like most is this very unusual pose of the bird, you managed to capture him at the perfect moment. I had never seen this before and I thank you for showing it to me.
Very well done !

  • Great 
  • sayat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 280 W: 0 N: 258] (1457)
  • [2008-01-26 13:34]

Fantastic shot! Very masterful capture and amazing details. A joy to look!

hello Alex
the photograph is the moment, which you have catch, splendid pose with great output in colours and in the details!
keep photographing! TFS

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