Image Doctor: Hung Out To Dry
Photographer: Graham Bowden
Camera Type: Canon EOS 600D
Lens: EF-s 15-85 F3.5-5.6 IS
Shutter Speed: 1/400
Adjustments: Some sharpening, Clarity and Vibrance adjustments to RAW image in PS Elements plus cropping. Tried exposure compensation but it didn't really help.
Photographer's Comments: Taken at a small fresh water lake – I'm not sure what I should have done to get the bird to stand out more against the water reflections.
Image doctor's advice
Photography is, more often than not, about working with opportunities. And when the opportunities or conditions are not perfect then we need to work around them, or occasionally come up with a different idea.
In this photograph the bird might be looking good but because of the wind conditions on the day, the water is looking rather rippled, and so are the reflections. As a result the image is a mix of many distracting elements.
It would have helped to get a little lower with the camera – you obviously have some space to spare (there is still water above the birds head) and this one simple option might just help ease the visual clutter.
Another option would be simply to get right down to the water level and just focus on getting the stump with the bird on it emerging from the water. You might have to move left or right of the subject to work with the background but that is all part of the image making process.
One other factor in your favour is that birds like this often make a habit of perching on a favourite tree branch or stump. Chances are if you go back at dawn when the wind conditions are usually still you might find this bird still there… and the light might even be more favourable for you too.