Would You Go Silhouette or Natural? « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Would You Go Silhouette or Natural?

Homer 2024

I have my dates for the two February 2024 Homer/Kachemak Bay Bald Eagle IPTs. If you would be interested in doing both 5-day trips (with a discount) and driving from Anchorage and Homer and back with me, please get in touch via e-mail.

What’s Up?

Please remember that the blog is meant to be interactive. Even if you do not opt to leave a comment, run through the question or questions in your head. Doing so will help you improve your photography. Thanks to the those who commented on yesterday’s image. I will respond to each comment as soon as this is posted.

In yesterday’s blog post, my very great preference is for the second version. Thanks to all of those who participated in what turned out to be a very educational conversation. As far as the pelican’s back being “too straight,” I am about 99.9% positive that had I not revealed the elimination of the OOF pelican, nobody would have said a word about that.

The morning was fair to OK as the northeast wind swung around to north by slightly west making flight photography difficult. The afternoon was another story. It was looking as if there would be decent sunset color. We tried one spot, but another boat was there, so we left. We tried a second and then a third spot, but were unable to bring the plan to fruition because of the low tide. We came up with a fourth idea and while we were exploring that one, Captain Gabe asked “What about that beach?” Bingo. We sat on a lovely sheltered beach with the wind behind us and shot eagle silhouettes of birds in flight and birds perched on rugged rocks. The sunset was gorgeous, and the afternoon turned out to be epic. Everyone created many nice images and learned a ton about shooting in Shutter Priority mode with AUTO ISO. I filled a card in less than an hour. We reviewed images at the bar in Land’s End as I and others in the group enjoyed a nice glass of Pinot Noir.

Note: Today’s featured image was not created on Saturday.

Today is Sunday 5 March 2023. The morning is for partly to mostly cloudy skies all day with a faint breeze from the east/northeast. We will try to find some wind for flight photography. This blog post took less than an hour to prepare and makes three hundred forty days in a row with a new educational post written just for you. Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, I hope that you too have a great day.

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The plan is to continue to post every day until the streak reaches one year and one day and then begin posting every other day.

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Visit the Bedfords website here, shoot Steve Elkins an e-mail, or text him on his cell phone at (479) 381-2592.

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Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of photographers whom I see in the field and on BPN, are — out of ignorance — using the wrong gear, especially when it comes to tripods and more especially, tripod heads. And the same is true in spades when ordering new camera bodies or lenses. My advice will often save you some serious money and may help you avoid making a seriously bad choice. Please know that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail. If you are desperate, you can try me on my cell at 863-221-2372. Please leave a message and shoot me a text if I do not pick up.

This image was created on 27 February on a Homer/Kachemak Bay Bald Eagle IPT. I used the handheld Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II lens with the Sony FE 2x teleconverter (at 282mm), and The One, the Sony Alpha 1 Mirrorless Digital Camera). The exposure was determined via Zebra technology with Exposure Compensation on the thumb dial. Shutter Priority +2-stops. AUTO ISO set ISO 1600: 1/2500 sec. at f/5.6 (wide open). When evaluated in RawDigger, the raw file exposure was determined to be dead-solid perfect. AWB at 6:05:51pam just before sunset.

Tracking: Zone AF-C with Bird Face/Eye detection enabled performed perfectly. Be sure to click on the image to enjoy a high-res version.

The Photo Mechanic screen capture for the Bald Eagle landing at sunset image

What is It?

What is the black shape in the lower right corner?

Keep or Delete? Why?

If this were your image, would you keep it or delete it? Either way, why?

If you would keep it, please leave a comment detailing your plans for the image optimization. Would you create a silhouette, or go for an image that revealed the tones of the eagle? How would you crop it? What would you do about the black shape in the lower right corner?


With all blog posts, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors.

12 comments to Would You Go Silhouette or Natural?

  • That black shape in the corner must be the back of another eagle. Square cropping doesn’t look like the right composition to me. I think 2×3 is needed for enough space in front of the landing eagle. I’d like to remove the black shape and replace with grass stems. But where to get stems that would work? I’d also take out the small dark stub under the eagle’s tail. I like the color as is since it’s dusk and I like the light through the eagles tail which would have disappear in a silhouette.

  • avatar Neil Hickman

    I reckon there is some sweet morning light here. That tail should light up with nice backlit fringe as well. Square crop to remove corner bird? If I’m right it’s a keeper silhouette.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      That was some sweet evening backlight. I could have gone silhouette with some tail backlight but as is usual, I preferred the totally black silhouette.


  • avatar Maggi Fuller

    It’s another eagle with a curved back!! I would bin it quite honestly, but I’d like to see your handiwork in bringing out the details! I would say it’s too far gone for anything but a silhouette.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Let me know what you think of the silhouette in Monday’s blog post. As opposed to being “too far gone,” the exposure was actually perfect.


  • avatar David Pugsley

    Lower right is the back of another eagle. Not sure I’d keep this one though you can surely work some magic with it. My issue is the position/shape of the far wing.

  • avatar Kevin Hice

    I will go with Yves, eagle in the corner and a silhouette. Would never get the details out to go natural Not a big fan of the angle of the far wing. Maybe a square crop and that would eliminate the right corner.

  • The shape in the lower right corner is the second adult eagle.

    The answers to all the questions related to delete or keep are in the pudding, as you often say. After having made different trials, I’d decide. Probably that silhouette would be best.

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