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Pied Wagtail through double glazing (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
This wagtail suddenly landed on the patio while I had the camera in my hands as a heron had just landed by the pond.
I liked the way the wagtail was posing and seemingly looking at me.
Camera setting......ready for heron by pond!:

Camera Model: Canon EOS D60
Date/Time: 2003.04.10 14:18:52
Shutter speed: 1/640 sec
Aperture: 8.0
Exposure mode: Av
Flash: Off
Metering mode: Partial
Drive mode: Continuous
ISO: 400
Lens: 100.0 to 400.0 mm
Focal length: 340.0mm
Subject distance: 5.80 m
AF mode: AI Servo AF


  • wagtail.jpg
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I really like this shot Paula for the composition and colours.

Everything for me just feels right about it. The Wagtail is in a super pose, you've left loads of room for it to look into. Depth of field is just right, covering the grass underfoot nicely and then blurring for the background, which is uncluttered and nice shades of green and brown.

I like the position of the brid across the photo. I think I'd be inclined to have left a shade more room at the bottom of the photo, but head room looks fine.

Exposure wise, a little of the detail is lost in the highlights down the right side of the bird and on the end of the tail, but as the head is so sharp, it doesn't detract from the shot.

I'd give this one 3 stars.

BTW I removed the other comments posted as this is the critque forum. They were more appropriate on the copy that you placed in the Gallery.


Well-known member
Blown highlights

Thank you for your comments and the stars! Ian.
I have taken note of your suggestions.
How would one make sure that highlights are not blown? Should I have compensated one stop down? I.e less light, either a faster shutter speed or smaller f.stop? or -1 on compensation dial?
Btw, I really like this image critique forum and hope it takes off with other members. It sure is the way to learn and improve on one's photographic skills.
Last edited:


Hi Paula,

When taking a photo I usually try to take the exposure reading from the brightest part of the bird. In strong sunlight, this can lead to the rest of the subject being too dark. Bright overcast days are usualy better than sunny ones. You can bracket exposures when taking the photo as you say using the compensation dial. It's one to experiment with until you feel comfortable with it. On dull days use + values to brighten the subject and - values on bright days to help add detail to highlighted areas.

As regards the critique, I'm no expert. Anyone can have a go. It's a question of saying how you feel about a shot and what you think may improve it. As regards the highlights in your shot I'm sure that someone adept at using a photo manipulation program such as PSP or PS could add the detail to the shot.


Well-known member
Hi Paula,

Certainly a wonderful opportunity. DOF is perfect for the background. Clairity is very good, though the tail and lower wing tips are just a tad out of focus. Detail seems to be lacking in the wing feathers. This may have come from quickly have to turn and take the picture, so you may not have been able to have hold the camera as still as you normally would have. It looks like the focal point may have been the grass blades to its right. I agree with Ian about the right side of the bird being a bit overexposed. If you have PS, use the magic wand, then go to levels and lower it. I would start with lowering it by 20, but you may have to go higher. In the future, you may not want to go down a full value point in compensation, -1/3 or -2/3 may work better (each shot is different, so one just has to learn how their camera copes with these changes). As far as the composition, I do like it as a whole, but would have preferred a head on shot. As much as I hate to admit it, they are more attractive to the eye.

Don't get me wrong, very lovely bird and photo.

Rating: 3 stars

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