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Bluethroat (1 Viewer)


Medicinal Birding
Taken on 8 April 2016 at 09:20. Approximate distance 4-5 meters. Shot taken by crawling on the grass for about a meter (you can see my reflection on its iris:).
Body: Canon EOS 7D
Lens: Canon EF 400mm f5,6
F Number: 7,1
Exposure Bias: 0 EV
Shutter Speed: 1/800
ISO: 400
Edited in Adobe Photoshop Elements 13. The original photo was quite overexposed so I had to do some significant edits in levels and highlights, though nothing that changed the nature of the photo. Also minimal amount of sharpening and noise reduction (close distance with 400 ISO meant very little noise, even with a 7D!) and minimal color adjusting.
Photo is fullHD so it might not look good on Birdforum.
4 things I don't like about this image:
a) No prominent perch, like a rock or branch etc. Just grass which made both focusing difficult, and also fails to put bird on the foreground.
b) Background is also far from plain as once again the bird was on grass and that is never good for a clean patternless background.
c) The feet of the bird is obscured by some grass which makes the bird look a little... plump I guess? I mean it just doesn't look sleek and elegant like a Bluethroat should :)
d) Okay, this is not about the photo but I really wish my model was an adult male instead of this... 1st summer male, I guess? I could also use some more visible throat (thus blue) than seen in this profile view.

I would really like to hear your opinion on this photograph. If you think it's just great or perfect write so, if not and you don't like something about it PLEASE do write. I like constructive comments the most.

I can send the full version and original image if requested.

Cheers o:)


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Well-known member
Hi Kuzycem,

Can't fault the bird or the resolution, simply stunning!....If it were possible, I'd have visually centred the subject in the width and depth....always remember to have a little bit more background beneath the subject, than you have at the top. :t:


KC Foggin

Super Moderator
Staff member
Opus Editor
United States
Actually, I think this beautiful image is composed beautifully giving it a bit more space in the direction the bird is facing. As far as I'm concerned, not critiquing is necessary on this lovely image.


It's true, I quite like Pigeons
Honest Critique is hard to come by online - I miss a (long dead) forum I joined that provided honest critique, as you learn nothing from "Great capture" ;)

You get two different opinions on this site - one is from Birders, the other is from Photographers... here's an amateur photographer's opinion:

  • Composition obeys the rules (off centre eye - subject looking into space)
  • Maybe better with a bit more space (if available) at the bottom where the hidden feet are (usually aim to show where hidden feet etc are, although I've no idea how short this bird's legs are, so perhaps moot).
  • Low angle works quite well, but if you could have got even lower it would perhaps have improved the background (depends what was in the distance above the level of the grass and how long the grass was)
  • I agree that the background is a bit messy, but it's the natural setting the subject was in, so I'm fine with that.
  • Perhaps slightly over-sharpened, but could be the HD
  • Depending on your Lens/Sensor, maybe a larger aperture would have improved the DOF and bokeh, as the subject is small and side-on. Although maybe that very slight twist of it's head needed the F7.1?

All in all a nice image, and a good-looking bird


Medicinal Birding
Thank you all. I really love it when people give constructive criticism.
As for the position of the bird in the frame I tried to follow the more-space-where-the-bird-is-looking rule. You may be right about the feet but I also am not sure where they would stand exactly.
The over-sharpening part is, as you guessed, due to the fact that Birdforum compresses HD photos. On full resolution I can assure you it looks better.
For the bokeh and f-stop I agree with you :)

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