PHOENIX RISING by CHESTER ROSIE
GRADE - MERIT
An imaginative title for this Gannet landing, that is from the 'decisive moment' school of photography, within the framework of 'seeing eye"; as distinct from' creative" or 'photo-journalism' etc. Let us look at decisive moment, choice of aperture and shutter speed and iso , 3 elements contributing to correct exposure. Then composition, or structure of the image. Was this the best moment ? I think a moment before the main subject lowered below the horizon of the colony, whilst it was still outlined against the plain sky, would have been a better moment. Or even as it came into a field of in focus gannets within the plain in which it was to land may have been a choice, as well. The use of aperture over depth of field has assisted in isolating the bird from the background of confusing gannets, perhaps an even larger aperture may have assisted further in this area, but a compensatory reduction in ISO would have been necessary, as the 2000th of sec shutter speed used has frozen the action sufficiently, and higher speed may have frozen the fluttering feathers into a sculpture. like effect.. The attitude of the landing bird is good , the unconcerned nature of the colony of birds reflecting the normality of this procedure. Because of the fresnel lens design of our viewfinders, with its bulls-eye concept; it is difficult to compose such action shots, within the viewfinder. At the time of taking, therefore, it is necessary to leave sufficient room around the subject matter, to be able to crop at a later stage. The modern cameras have sufficient pixel range, to allow quite a bit of cropping from the 'original take'.So always allow room around such subjects as birds in flight, to be able to crop to a better, construction. Here I suggest a crop from the right , nearer to a square format. I would then suggest applying a vignette to the bird slightly darkening the four corners of the image to concentrate ever so slightly on the bird. I will give instructions for vignetting in a letter to the club. I include a crude replacement of the bird ( in my modifications folder), suggesting a more decisive moment thus showing separation of this bird from the colony; it is diagrammatic only, and I am not suggesting this is a complete proper image. I congratulate you on your skills as a younger photographer, and am sure your future is promising in this field.