Pamela Hoaglund  

Female Northern Harrier by Pamela Hoaglund

March 2023 - Female Northern Harrier

March 2023 - Pamela Hoaglund


About the Image(s)

This image was taken at the Ridgefield NWR in southern WA. Taken with my Sony 7RM3, Sony 200-600mm lens, at ISO 2500, shutter speed 1/2000 at f/6.3. Edited in ON1 2023. Basic editing with setting black and white points. Running it through ON 1 NoNoise. I used a mask on the bird and added dynamic contrast and sharpening. I tried to implement suggestions for last months image to darken the background to separate the bird more. I masked the background and used curves to pull down the whites, midtones and the blacks a bit. I will be interested in hearing your feedback and if there is a better way to tone down the background.

7 comments posted

Mike Cohen   Mike Cohen
Love it! One of my favorite hawks and nice that you got it close to the ground. I suggest doing a bit of dodging on the body, which looks a tad dark to me. I think I would add a blur layer, with a substantial amount of gaussian blur, then add a black mask so that you can paint the blur in where you want it. I'd blur the grass along the bottom as well as in the background below and in front of the bird. I think it would help the subject stand out even more.   Posted: 03/07/2023 12:59:26
Pamela Hoaglund   Pamela Hoaglund
I'll keep working on this. Thanks for your input and suggestions.   Posted: 03/13/2023 12:47:28

Judith Lesnaw   Judith Lesnaw
Great shot. Was the camera hand-held? Those graceful and powerful wings, fanned tail feathers, back-stretched legs and intense expression suggest that he is on a hunt. The top crop seems a bit too tight. I like Mike's suggestions, with one tweak: I would keep the foreground grass sharp as it places the hawk close to the ground. I would also experiment with a high key presentation. Since you have darkened the hawk, lightening (and blurring) the background and adding a slight white vignette would be another way to guide attention to the subject.   Posted: 03/10/2023 09:41:29
Pamela Hoaglund   Pamela Hoaglund
Thanks Judith. Yes this was handheld as the bird was moving. In this NWR you drive through in your car so your car is your blind. I use a beanbag on the window sill of the car and try to use that as much as possible to stabilize a shot. However, when the subject takes off I have to bring the camera off the beanbag to follow the action.
Thanks for your suggestions.   Posted: 03/13/2023 12:51:20

Sharon Prislipsky   Sharon Prislipsky
This is a very nice BIF portrait and in my opinon you got the perfect DOF and the subject is sharp. I wonder if it would be possible to get just a little more light in the eye?
I read the suggestions the others made and I think what you do whith this from here on depends on your audience. Are you thinking this will be in a nature gallery somewhere? If so Mike's suggestion about the blur would be something worth trying. I do not think this image is a candidate for a high key presentation, as I do no think the background will lend itself to that approach, althoud you could mask the bird and put it on a solid white layer.
Whatever you decide this image is propbably a keeper.   Posted: 03/15/2023 15:23:04

LC Boros   LC Boros
Great moment captured. The background is pretty noisy though: perhaps a selective mask to bring down the levels and exposure a bit. I would flip the image too so it presents a stronger view line.   Posted: 03/16/2023 09:29:34

Ally Green   Ally Green
Great inflight capture seeing the Harrier in full stretch with its feet. Might lighten the eye a bit and maybe to darken the background a bit more with your masking and adding a vignette to make the Harrier stand out more. I like Judith suggestion of keeping the foreground grass sharp.   Posted: 03/16/2023 11:38:08


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