View Full Version : Winner Chosen - March 2011 - Admin's choice - Image of the month

04-05-2011, 03:35 PM
Hi members,

In case you are new around here this is where the Admin (me) chooses one excellent photo each month from all the photos nominated by other members during that month in the Member's monthly choice forum (http://www.photography.ca/Forums/f27/march-2011-nominate-another-members-images-here-13929.html).

Just so it's clear, the photo I choose is not necessarily the best one of the month. I've come to realize it's not really logical to pit images from totally different genres against each other. That's why there are categories in photo contests. My goal is to simply choose an excellent photo and talk about why I think it rocks.

This month's choice is Urban Eagle (http://www.photography.ca/Forums/f20/urban-eagle-14257.html) by Michaelaw.

I chose this image for several reasons:

Story and composition - The title Urban Eagle tells it all and the awesome background imagery of a bridge and cranes make the story more compelling. Themes and subthemes abound in shots like this and I really enjoy that. The eagle is well positioned in this shot that had to be composed super-quickly. The background elements (bridge structure and cranes) are also very well placed in the shot.

Degree of difficulty - timing/decisive moment - This is no easy shot to get. The timing, (just look at the lovely frozen open-wings) the focus, and composition have to be very well synced and Michaelaw did an excellent job.

Sharpness - The bird's feathers are really sharp and the eye looks quite sharp along with some lovely background bokeh.

Colour and post processing - Both are well controlled to create this very striking image with a lovely 'cool' colour palette that totally suits the image. If it were my shot I may have burned in the rear white wings a bit and dodged the face a wee bit but that's it.

For all these reasons, this is my choice for image of the month. Since we all have opinions, some members may disagree with my choice. That's cool but THIS thread is not the place for debate over my pick, NOR is it the place to further critique the image. The purpose here is to suggest strong elements in the photo that we may learn from.

Congrats again Michaelaw for capturing this wonderful scene!

04-05-2011, 05:39 PM
Congrats, Michael! It is a wonderful image!

04-05-2011, 05:45 PM
I knew it was worthy as soon as I saw it! Congrats! :thumbup:

04-05-2011, 05:58 PM
Congrats Micheal! I have to agree that this is not an easy shot to get. Would love to hear more of a story behind it, settings used, time of day, did you focus track? etc anyways great pic!!!!

Matt K.
04-05-2011, 06:22 PM
Congrats, Michael! It is a wonderful image!

I'll second that! Just a great image all in all.

04-05-2011, 08:05 PM
I knew it was worthy as soon as I saw it! Congrats! :thumbup:

Ditto! Congrats MAW. I love this image.

04-05-2011, 08:10 PM
Congrats from me also!! A very good choice for sure!:thumbup:

04-05-2011, 08:49 PM
Hey congrats, Michael on winning image of the month. Exceptional work - jimmy

04-06-2011, 01:25 AM
inspiring, beautiful work! congratulations!

04-06-2011, 03:40 AM
Well deserved! Congrats!

04-06-2011, 03:51 PM
Wow!...Thanks Marko. Thanks for the comments also. The image was shot on a Nikon D300s using a 70-300mm @5.6, 300mm (35mm equivalent 450mm) ISO 200, 1250/sec bright, overcast day. I had just finished shooting a fishing boat going down river below me when the moment happened so the settings did not change as there was no time. A quick look in the viewfinder told me I was in the ballpark, 1250/sec to freeze motion and about 1 stop under where I try to stay as the camera responds well here IMO. That checked, I paid attention to focus and comp. 99.9% of my shooting is done fully manual. I use a combination of ISO, aperture and shutter to get the effect I want. With the 70-300 I am usually at f5.6 to ensure a good Bokeh. I was set to single auto-focus as I don't generally get what I want from continuous...Aim and wait for the trusty "Beep" :laughing:. And yes I do use the beep as I find it's one less visual thing to worry about that can be put off for the ears to work with! What was interesting to me about this shot is how I automatically moved from the boat to the Eagle and was able to get everything lined up and calculated for the shot...Interesting because when I first started shooting, I would have watched the scene in awe till the Eagle was a distant spec and then realized I should have been on that! :laughing:

Thanks again:)

PS... The other interesting thing about this shot, I was an hour into my three hour walk thinking "This was a mistake, I should have gone to the lake instead" as there was seemingly nothing happening...Then, BANG! I mention this only because it's a recurring theme in my photo walks. Point being, you just never know what events are going to transpire even on the most stupid ideas for a walk you think you ever had:)

04-06-2011, 06:04 PM
Congrats Michael. That's a great explanation of the process you went through. You must be quick as that's a lot to do is such a short period of time.

04-24-2011, 04:52 PM
Words cannot express what a fantastic photo this is. I am mesmerized. Very, very nice!