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Eagle Eye

Eagle Eye
Photo Information
Copyright: Larry A Brechner (brech) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 539 W: 135 N: 1111] (3045)
Genre: Places
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-08-04
Categories: Nature, Decisive Moment, HPP [Heavily Post-Processed], Portrait
Camera: Canon EOS 5D, Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8 L IS USM, Cokin P164 Circular Polarizer
Exposure: f/4, 1/320 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Map: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Birds portraits [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2011-02-27 17:33
Viewed: 2304
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 45
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Normally I post my wildlife images to the Trek Nature site brech on Trek Nature, but thought I would bring this particular image to TL.

This Bald Eagle was photographed in Vermont at the VINS preserve. These raptors were in many cases injured and sometimes are not be able to return to the wild. VINS does attempt to rehabilitate injured raptors but those that are not able to return to the wild are cared for there, or in some cases are relocated to other sanctuaries.

Lighting was a bit dim, from an indirect, outdoor, diffused, shaded light, and very bright overhead light, requiring a slightly higher ISO with wide exposure latitude.

Used a 1.4x extender for a 280mm FL to achieve a close-up of these raptors. I used the polarizer turned only partially to get the desired color saturation.

RAW/PS5 was used to crop, and adjust Curves plus to get the bokeh background bringing maximum attention to the subject. The made a selection of the eye to better bring out its striking color. Finally used Nik HDR to tweak the structure (sharpness/detail), then lowered the saturation so get a more natural look.

loribird, Jan9376, Carol_Lynn, MLINES, gaillarde, tnahari, abidin, thienthu, andrzej, galderjon, dilshan74, shelbeesmom, harpya, mesquens1, Athila, KurtPop, ckuhn55 has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To jimmyjimmy: Thanks for the WSbrech 1 03-02 08:23
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Critiques [Translate]

  • loribird Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 920 W: 109 N: 1182] (5561)
  • [2011-02-27 17:40]

I am so glad you chose to bring it to TL. What an incredible shot. The sharp detail and natural color of this magnificent creature is just wonderful. And to know it is being taken care of is such a comfort. Truly spectacular. TFS, Lori

Hello Larry,

impressive close-up portrait! Impeccable sharpness and DOF. Great capture!

- Jan

Very impressive close-up of this beautiful bird. Such clarity of details. Very nice colors. Well done, tfs.

Hi Larry...beautiful shot...perfect sharpness and composition...well done.


  • Great 
  • MLINES Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1350 W: 102 N: 1081] (9125)
  • [2011-02-27 20:07]

Hi Larry,
Really clear close up. What a wonderful result. What you do in RAW seems to work perfectly.
I notice we use the same lens, a good one for DOF. tfs Murray

Inasmuch as everyone feels this is a wonderful exposure and I do enjoy the shot, I do feel it is slightly over-exposed because there are so many areas of the white feathers that lack any detail because it has been lost in the exposure.
Sometimes it is better to underexpose a subject that has a contrasting color (such as the white feathers of this majestic Bald Eagle) in order to capture the intricate details of it's plumage.
Still, it is a wonderful shot and I think your efforts to improve the final image are remarkable and noteworthy.
I have found that in most cases, it has worked well for me to under expose such images by at least -2/3 (-.7 on Nikon) to capture the details you have lost in this effort.
Please, try going back since this is a captured bird, and doing what I suggest to improve the image... you will be pleased with the results, I assure you.

Great capture of this majestic eagle.

Bravo pour cette capture remarquable;,c'est très impressionant.La texture est incroyable belle macro.
Mes compliments Larry. Salutations.

Hi Larry
outstanding portrait of an Bald Eagle.
excellent clarity of details, feathers and features.
well done on WS for splendid natural colors.

Ciao Larry

A beautiful creature indeed!
In particular I'm impressed by the capture of this fine moment, a great pose for the bird...
Excellent details in plumage, all over a treat to my eyes!


Sergio ♣

Great shot

  • Great 
  • werdir Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1416 W: 147 N: 2654] (11957)
  • [2011-02-28 9:10]

Hi Larry,

A gorgeous profile shot of the Bald Eagle. The details in the eye and feathers are excellent. I read Galan's critique with interest. Since you shot this in RAW, you should be able to adjust the exposure accordingly to see if this improves the image as he states. The slight OE doesn't bother me, but still might be interesting to see the difference.

It's nice that there's a place for these birds to live out their lives.


Hi Larry
An amazing capture,fantastic sharp details,good exposure.

  • Great 
  • HienVy Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 369 W: 18 N: 697] (4273)
  • [2011-03-01 19:43]

Very nice portrait of a Bald Eagle, Larry
Great sharp details. You captured his eye perfectly.

Great sharpness and details around the eye and on the beck.
The close up crop gives a strong feeling, which works and is eye-catching.
The dim lighting is a very important problem, in photography it is all about light... and in this case it was not good, forcing you to boost the ISO, the consequences are noise and other problems... the top edge of the head is OE and has a blue ghost line due to this problem.
You did your best in PP work, but the lack of light spoiled the shot.

Hello Larry

OK, where do I start. Again I feel the eyes are the most powerful part of any living creature. Ofcourse you allready know that. Well your eagle here was screaming at me for some makeover. And yes Larry I am full of makeover. I did an artistic makeover for a more dramatic effect in case he would appear in one of your plays. I just thought it would look better. I know you and your better half are purest when it comes to photograpy. I just like the end result no matter how I get to it. Hope you like the workshop.


Superb POV and sharp capture of this beautiful Raptor. I love the details in the eye! There is some OE of the white feathers though. The composition is excellent and the bg is beautifully rendered without any distractions- well done!

best wishes,



This is a fantastic looking shot. The eyes on this eagle sure are impressive, thanks for sharing!


WOw...nice close up of this magnificent bird! We have these here in Texas, but it's so rare to see one! Excellent sharpness Larry!

Bonjour Larry
Very impressive portrait, sharpness and dof at their best.Beautiful result

  • Great 
  • karl Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 163 W: 66 N: 62] (986)
  • [2011-04-24 7:23]

simply WOW !

Bom dia Larry,
So beautiful and flawless. That's a magnificent portrait from a royal animal.
Excellent piece of art. Love it.
R. ;O)

Bonjour Larry,

Great portrait of that eagle. Excellent sharpness showing fine details in its feathers. Exposure is well controlled avoiding burned highlights and very natural The shallow DOF is sufficient for the subject and low enough to maintain a nice blur behind. Excellent work and TFS


wow, nice close-up, very sharp, i like it!!!!

Hi Larry, great notes and the detail of this amazing animal is remarkable.

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